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

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Legislative Update - March 16, 2018

Friday, March 16, 2018

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Amber Crooker visiting for Minnesota Home Care Association Day at the Capitol

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Neighbors visiting for Arts Advocacy Day at the Capitol 2018

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Neighbors visiting for Homeless Day on the Hill

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Carrie Bakken visiting to discuss education issues.

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Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) and Adult Basic Education (ABE) teachers visiting to discuss HF 3590 (ECFE/ABE bill)

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Hortensia Leon visiting to discuss early childhood education.

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Lucretia Brown visiting to discuss early childhood education

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Erin Stevens visiting for Minnesota Medical Association Day at the Capitol

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Michelle Saelim visiting for Mental Health Day at the Capitol

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Patrick Whelan visiting for Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota Day at the Capitol

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Michaela Smith visiting for Mental Health Day at the Capitol

LEGISLATIVE UPDATES

HF 3590

Last week I introduced HF3590, a bill that will provide clarity and consistency to ensure that Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) and Adult Basic Education (ABE) teachers are licensed under Tier IV of the new Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board (PELSB) and receive the continuing contract they deserve. Over the years, these educators have broadened their services to English education, GED, adult diploma, job skills, citizenship, home visits, early intervention and others, and have supported Minnesotans and their families with the best resources, ideas, and skills. Now it is time for us to support our educators.

MA WORK REQUIREMENTS

On Monday, Minnesota Republicans joined national efforts to limit the number of people receiving medical assistance, known as Medicaid nationally. Introduced by Rep. Fenton, HF 3722, would mandate 80 hours worked a month for “able-bodied individuals.” In the press conference announcing the bill, Speaker Daudt said the legislation is intended to “control growing costs of public programs.”

Many of the people on MA are pregnant, caring for young children, have a disability, or would otherwise be exempted from working under the bill. This bill would take health care away from Minnesotans who need it most.

Read more from the Minnesota Public Radio story here: GOP proposes work requirements for public health care

BIPARTISAN GUN BILLS IN SENATE

On Tuesday, a group of bipartisan Senators (Kent, Little, Jensen, Anderson, P.) introduced two bills to combat senseless gun violence. The first (SF 3279) would create criminal background checks on all gun purchases and most transfers, and the second (SF 3278) would combat straw purchases by requiring gun owners to report missing or stolen guns. Senate Republican leadership said neither bill would be allowed to move forward.

Read more in the Pioneer Press story here: Pair of GOP lawmakers back background checks. Will it make a difference?

ANTI-PROTEST BILL RETURNS

Yesterday, the House Public Safety Committee heard HF 390 and sent it back to the General Register. This means we could have another debate on this anti-free speech bill again at any time. This bill would deter Minnesotans from their right to peacefully assemble and speak out against injustices we see in our communities.

HAPPENING AROUND THE STATE CAPITOL

DAYTON ANNOUNCES ELDER ABUSE PROPOSAL

Governor Dayton joined several legislators to announce a broad set of reforms and investments to hold providers guilty of elder abuse accountable and protect the health, safety, and dignity of seniors and vulnerable adults.

Health and Human Services Reform chair, Rep. Schomacker, said his committee won’t hear AARP’s elder abuse recommendations this year. That’s not a good sign for Minnesotans who deserve to have action taken on this issue this year.

STATE OF THE STATE

On Wednesday night, Governor Dayton gave his final State of the State address. The speech was a reminder that when we invest in Minnesotans and build on what we value as a state, we can achieve great things. In the past eight years Minnesota has gone from deficits and borrowing money from our schools to surpluses and record investments that have made Minnesota the best state in the country.

Every Minnesotan deserves an opportunity to succeed, and we can only make that a reality by continuing to invest in the things that make life better for all of us.

Read the Governor’s full remarks here, and the Star Tribune story here: Gov. Mark Dayton wraps up his final State of the State speech with a focus on finances

STATE REVENUE

State general fund revenues were $32 million above the forecasted amount for February 2018. 

The latest Minnesota Management & Budget information compares actual receipts for February to receipts forecasted by the February 2018 general fund forecast.

The net $32 million positive variance for February is the sum of the variances in several areas.  The chart below reflects the forecasted amount, actual revenue and the difference (dollars are in millions). 

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Minnesota Management & Budget cautions that monthly revenue numbers are preliminary and subject to revision. 

GOVERNOR MARK DAYTON’S SUPPLEMENTAL BUDGET

This morning Governor Dayton released his supplemental budget plan for a better Minnesota. His budget focuses on increasing tax fairness for individuals, continuing investments in Minnesota’s youngest learners, expanding access to affordable health care, leaving a fair and balanced state budget, and improving incomes and economic opportunities for all Minnesotans.

OFFICE OF LEGISLATIVE AUDITOR (OLA) VOTING AND ELECTIONS REPORT

This morning the  Office of the Legislative Auditor report on Voter Registration was released and reviewed by the Legislative Audit Commission Evaluation Subcommittee. Sen. Susan Kent and Rep. Laurie Halverson introduced the Secure Access for Minnesota Voters Act (HF 3791) this week, which I co-authored, ahead of the OLA report release. This proposal would provide cyber security updates to Minnesota’s voter registration database, establish automatic voter registration, and provide e-poll books for every county that wants them.

The Secure Access for Minnesota Voters act will ensure Minnesota continues to have the safest, most secure, and most efficient elections in the country.

LEARN ABOUT HEALHCARE APPRENTICESHIPS

The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry is hosting the Takoda Healthcare Career Fair on April 18 in Minneapolis to share information about healthcare apprenticeships.

The event includes a healthcare employment panel discussion, access to healthcare training providers, information about healthcare apprenticeships from Apprenticeship Minnesota and an opportunity for job-seekers to connect with employers.

WHAT: Takoda Healthcare Career Fair

WHEN: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM; April 18, 2018

WHERE: Takoda Healthcare Career Fair

Takoda, 1845 E. Franklin Ave.

Minneapolis, 55404

You can find more information and the free registration here.

If you have any questions, you may contact Latisha Cannon, service strategist, at 612-341-3358.

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!