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Minnesota Legislature

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

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End of Session Update

Friday, May 31, 2019

Neighbors,

The legislative session adjourned on May 25th, but I look forward to working year-round with our community to make our state a better place to live. This session, we worked together and found common ground to pass a two-year state budget that will lift up our communities. In the end, our budget is a bipartisan compromise. But we fought for investments in healthcare, housing education, and equitable communities that will make a difference in peoples' lives. 


Some highlights of our budget are below. If you want to read in further detail, full summaries of all the budget bills we passed are available here

Environment
Our comprehensive plan to help stop the outbreak of chronic wasting disease (CWD), a fatal neurological disease that affects deer, is a huge achievement. The plan provides more funding for disease management and research to develop a better diagnostic test that can be used on live animals.

The budget contains innovative solutions to other long-term environmental issues, including managing aquatic invasive species and helping communities address emerald ash borer issues. It also bans flame retardant chemicals that increase health risks for children and firefighters and reduces the use of industrial toxins and other contaminants.

Especially important for our community is $200,000 included for lead and asthma education, which is a problem that disproportionately impacts children in our community due to our greater rates of pollution. 

Housing 
Too many students and families across Minnesota don’t have a safe, reliable place to rest their head at night. Housing is interconnected with nearly all areas of life - it is crucial for a person’s ability to hold a job, complete an education, and preserve their health. Much of our housing bill focuses on protecting tenants’ rights and expanding access to affordable and safe housing. And I’m proud to say that our final housing bill provides a historic $15 million in additional funding for housing programs over the next two years. While this bill is a good start, we have a long way to go to ensure affordable housing for all in Minnesota.


E-12 Education
The House DFL successfully worked to prevent Republican cuts to education, securing four times their proposed funding level, which would have set our schools further behind after accounting for inflation. Our budget makes investments in our teachers, students, Pre-K, and schools so we can prevent further cuts, layoffs, larger class sizes and higher property taxes.

Health Care 
The House DFL focused on several health care priorities this session. We worked hard to ensure Minnesotans can afford their health insurance, prescription drugs, get the care they need when they need it, and to protect health care access for over a million Minnesotans. Our Health Budget was a bipartisan compromise, and we will not stop trying to pass legislation to bring down the cost of health care and make sure drugs like Insulin are available and affordable to those who need it. 

This year’s budget is just one step on a longer road toward a more prosperous, more equal Minnesota where gender, race, zip code, mental health, and income don’t determine a person’s ability to succeed. It's an honor to represent you, and thank you for being engaged in our state government this session!
 
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!
 
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