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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Fue Lee (DFL)

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Legislative Update - March 2, 2018

Friday, March 02, 2018

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Augsburg University undergraduate students, Brandon Williams and BK Kormah, visiting me to discuss the State Grant Program and Criminal Justice Reform

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University of Minnesota doctorate student, Brittney Atoms, visiting me for Physical Therapy Day on the Hill

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Speaking at the Protect Minnesota Press Conference on my bill HF3020 to establish a pilot program aimed at reducing the trauma caused by gun violence.

BILL INTRODUCTIONS

HF3020 – Studying Gun Violence Trauma

On Monday, I introduced HF3020, a bill to establish a pilot program aimed at reducing the trauma caused by gun violence, using a $100,000 appropriation from the state. The pilot program would be directed to look at the root causes of gun violence – be it community violence, domestic abuse, or suicide.

You can find my press release here.

HF3161 – Redevelopment of the Upper Harbor Terminal

Yesterday, I introduced HF3161, a bill to appropriate $15 million to the City of Minneapolis, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, or both for pre-development, pre-design, design, and construction work for site preparation and for park and public infrastructure improvements to support an initial phase of redevelopment of the Upper Harbor Terminal on the Mississippi River.

GUN SAFETY MEASURES STALL – CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECKS (HF1669) AND GUN VIOLENCE PROTECTIVE ORDERS (HF1605)

On Thursday, the Public Safety Committee heard two common sense gun safety measures— a bill to expand Criminal Background Checks (HF1669) and another to allow for Gun Violence Protective Orders (HF1605)—which I co-authored. Republicans stopped both bills from moving forward in the process by tabling them in committee.

Under HF1669, a criminal background check is required for each firearm sale and must be facilitated by a federally licensed firearms dealer. HF1605 would help law enforcement and family members help to keep guns out of the hands of people who pose danger to themselves or others.

You may find House Public Information Services’ coverage here. Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) also has coverage here. If you’d like to contact the Republicans who voted "Yes" to table the bills, you can find their contact info here:

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BUDGET

On Wednesday, Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) released the February Budget Forecast and it shows a modest budget surplus of $329 million. A lot of that is due to our improved economic outlook, federal funding of the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and increased tax revenue. While Minnesota may have a small surplus, a lot of families are still having a hard time getting by. You can see details of MMB’s February Forecast here.

MNLARS URGENCY

Last month, Governor Dayton told the Legislature that layoff notices would have to be sent to the contract IT professionals working to fix issues with MNLARS (MN Licensing and Registration System) starting March 1st if they didn’t receive emergency funding. Minnesotans deserve a government with working basic functions, like driver and vehicle registration, so it's important that focus be placed on solving problems in a timely manner. Yesterday, Rep. Rick Hansen and DFLers moved to declare an urgency and bring up emergency funding to continue fixing MNLARS, but Republicans blocked the urgency and further action.

You may find House Public Information Services’ coverage here. There’s also a Star Tribune story here.

OLA REPORTS RELEASED THIS WEEK

The Office of the Legislative Auditor (OLA) released a program evaluation and two special reviews this week. You can review the full reports here:

Fiscal Impact of Refugee Resettlement: An Assessment of Data Availability

State Historic Preservation Office: Transfer to the Department of Administration

Minnesota Investment Fund Program Evaluation

I encourage you to contact me with any questions, comments, concerns, or ideas on any legislative topic. Also, I am available during select hours on Monday and Friday mornings most weeks for in-district meetings, if Northside residents aren’t able to make it to the Capitol. If you would like to send me a message or set up an in-district meeting, you can reach me by phone at 651-296-4262 or by email at rep.fue.lee@house.mn. I look forward to hearing from you!