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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Laurie Pryor (DFL)

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Legislative Update - February 11, 2019

Monday, February 11, 2019
Dear Neighbors,
The weather continues to be cold here in the state of Minnesota, and I hope you and your family have been able to stay both safe and warm. No family deserves to be stuck in the cold, and if you or someone you know is having difficulty with heating bills, Minnesota’s Energy Assistance Program may be able to help. The Minnesota Department of Commerce has more information available here.
Last week I joined Rep. Carlie Kotyza-Witthuhn for a Community Housing Forum in Eden Prairie to discuss the importance of housing for a strong community.

At the Capitol, I had visits from constituents such as Anne and Rebecca representing LifeSource to promote organ donation.

I also got to meet with constituents Doug, Molly, Dr. Varin and other folks from the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy. As providers, they play an important role in healthcare delivery.

Addressing climate change
We’re proud to live in a state with four true seasons and wide-ranging weather. The effects of climate change though mean these shifts are becoming much more severe, and unless we take action, this may cause irreversible effects. It’s up to policymakers to recognize that climate change is putting a livable planet for future generations in jeopardy.
Perhaps more so than anyone else, young Minnesotans are taking the lead in seeking action on this issue. I was encouraged to see so many of them join legislators last week for a press conference launching HF 700, a bill calling for 100 percent of all energy generated by utilities to come from renewable sources by 2050. We’ve already seen our goal of 25 percent renewables achieved seven years early, and there is no reason to stop this progress now.
Next Monday, February 18 (Presidents Day), bill author Rep. Jamie Long and I are hosting students for a Capitol Youth Climate Confab. We will meet from noon-1:30 in room 500N of the State Office Building. If there’s a group of students you think may be interested in participating, please let me know and I can share more details.
Ending sexual harassment
The #metoo movement highlighted how much progress we have yet to make to ensure Minnesotans can live their lives without unwanted advances and harassment in the workplace. For decades, courts have upheld an unreasonable “severe or pervasive” threshold, in many cases denying survivors of sexual harassment the justice they deserve.
Last week, the House Judiciary Committee heard some of these stories and unanimously advanced legislation to modernize this standard to help end sexual harassment in Minnesota workplaces.
Stopping pharmaceutical price gouging
Too many Minnesotans struggle with high prescription drug costs. Costs of some medications have increased at an unreasonable pace with many of them necessary for people to live. One example is insulin, which has tripled in price over about 15 years. Some people with diabetes have felt like they have no alternative but to ration their insulin supply due to its cost.
I’m encouraged to see legislation advance to prohibit prescription drug price gouging. HF 4 would empower the Attorney General to investigate and take action if pharmaceutical manufacturers and wholesalers are found to increase prices at an unconscionable level. I hope this can be one piece of a larger conversation to lower healthcare costs.
Please continue to contact me with your viewpoints and ideas. It’s an honor to represent you at the State Capitol.

Laurie Pryor
State Representative