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

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Legislative Update - April 30, 2021

Friday, April 30, 2021

Rep. Lee

Dear Neighbors, 

We have just over two weeks left in the 2020 Legislative Session, and with the House having passed all of its budget proposals, our next step consists of negotiations with our Senate counterparts in conference committees. It’s highly likely the budget bills we passed in the House will look different after negotiations, but that’s the nature of legislating in one of the nation’s only divided state governments. I’ll be doing my part to ensure that our final budget does its best to build back better for ALL Minnesotans - no matter their party, region, race, or age. 

 


 

Health and Human Services

The last budget proposal we passed in the House was our Health and Human Services budget, which makes prescription drugs more affordable, lays the groundwork for a public option, and addresses the inequities that exist in our system.

Minnesota has significant health care inequities, and the budget includes a variety of measures to ensure our health care framework has a race equity lens. It expands local public health grants and expands public health outreach to underserved and communities of color. One of the most significant areas of inequity is maternal health, and the budget and has several solutions to improve dignity and care during pregnancy and childbirth, including an extension of post-partum benefits under Medical Assistance (MA) from 60 days to 12 months. The budget also increases funding for lead risk assessments, enhances coverage for asthma, and makes Minnesota’s vaccine distribution system more equitable.

HHS

The budget delivers new support for people with disabilities, programs for older Minnesotans, food support, economic help for struggling families, and assistance for those experiencing mental illness and substance abuse. The budget invests $25 million to address homelessness, including funding for emergency shelters, services, and support grants. It contains a $68 million investment to increase the rates and wages of personal care attendants to ensure people with disabilities and vulnerable Minnesotans receive the care they need to live with dignity and reach their full potential. To help low-income Minnesotans who have struggled during the pandemic, the budget includes a cost of living increase along with a one-time payment of $750 for Minnesotans enrolled in the Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) and increases the eligibility threshold for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). To ensure county and tribal governments can continue to deliver important services, the budget has funding to address inadvertent overpayments in 2019 for opioid addiction treatments.

Also included is legislation I authored to create a pilot program to address gun violence-related trauma by providing training, resources, and education to individuals, organizations, and the wider community. Gun violence takes different forms in different parts of our state, but often results from the same cause: trauma. Research has shown that perpetrators of gun violence are often victims of gun violence themselves or have experienced forms of gun-related trauma.

 


 

REAL ID

In a recent announcement from the Federal Government, the deadline to obtain a REAL ID has been extended by an additional 18 months to May 3, 2023. This will help relieve some of the pressure on our local Driver and Vehicle Services offices, which have been overwhelmed with requests to renew expired drivers licenses and vehicle registration tabs, and give Minnesotans more time to obtain this updated form of identification.

REAL ID

Beginning May 3, 2023, Minnesotans will need a REAL ID to board domestic flights or enter federal facilities. An enhanced driver's license or ID card, passport or passport card are acceptable substitutes. Simple vehicle tab renewals can be handled online in just a few minutes at the DVS website, so take advantage of that option if you can’t get an in-person appointment at a local Hennepin County Service Center.

 


 

Stay Connected

In these final weeks of session, please feel free to reach out to my office if you have any questions or comments on our work. You can contact me at 651-296-4262 or email at rep.fue.lee@house.mn. I look forward to hearing from you. 

Sincerely, 

 

Fue Lee

State Representative

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