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

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Legislative Update - February 21, 2019

Thursday, February 21, 2019
Dear Neighbors,

This past Monday was a historic day in the Minnesota House of Representatives. We commemorated the first ever “Sovereignty Day” where we heard remarks from 11 tribal leaders in Minnesota and discussed how to improve government-to-government relations and how to work together to create better opportunities for Native people in Minnesota.

During the lunch period, over 20 students joined me and members of the Energy and Climate Committee for a Capitol Youth Climate Confab. Over some pizza from Black Sheep, we had a stimulating discussion about how we can move our state to a goal of 100 percent renewable energy in an effort to stop the harmful effects of climate change. Representatives from our local iMatter group and those from MN Can’t Wait presented their own proposal, a Minnesota Green New Deal, to legislators. We all were impressed by the knowledge and passion of these young advocates.

I’m grateful for the constituents who have made trips to the Capitol. Recent visits included those with my friend and neighbor Dennis Kim, president of EVS in Eden Prairie, who joined others for Clean Energy Business Day.

Protect Minnesota held their Day at the Capitol as they seek to end gun violence in Minnesota. I got to chat with Lori about our need to keep communities safe.

The American Council on Engineering Companies visited the Capitol. Local engineers spoke about our state’s infrastructure needs, as Minnesota only scored a “C’ in their latest report card. I look forward to partnering with them to improve our roads, bridges, transit, wastewater infrastructure and more.

Governor’s ‘Budget for One Minnesota’

Yesterday Governor Tim Walz released his two-year proposed “Budget for One Minnesota.” It’s clear the Governor has a clear, bold vision to ensure all children have an excellent education, to reduce the cost and increase the availability of health care, and to keep all of our communities safe, inclusive, and prosperous. These are things we all value as Minnesotans and I am committed to delivering on this session.

I was particularly excited to hear some of Governor Walz’s ideas for education, with historic investments not just in our per-pupil funding formula, but also other strategies to help recruit teachers, expand early learning opportunities, help districts with their increasing uncompensated special education costs, and bolster supports for students who may be at risk, such as those experiencing homelessness. There’s certainly a lot to unwrap in this budget, and over the coming weeks, the House and Senate will develop our own budget blueprints. Right now though, this is an excellent starting point to build upon “One Minnesota.”
Ending Elder Abuse

A bipartisan priority this session is to address some concerns in our assisted living facilities and nursing homes. Just over a year ago, the Star Tribune published a series highlighting abuse, neglect, assault, theft, maltreatment and other unconscionable behavior seniors and vulnerable adults have had to experience at the hands of the very people entrusted with their care.

A consumer work group convened by AARP Minnesota developed a series of recommendations to improve care, and legislation largely reflecting these received a public hearing in the House Health and Human Services Policy Committee this week. Some of the measures within the bill include licensing of assisted living facilities, the ability for a resident to have a camera in their living space, a prohibition on deceptive marketing practices, and strengthened civil rights of residents and their families. The decision to enter an assisted living facility or a nursing home isn’t an easy one, and all Minnesotans deserve to live with dignity and respect. This bill will help ensure that can be the case for all Minnesota seniors and vulnerable adults.

Please continue contacting me with your feedback on the legislative session and any ideas or input you may have. It’s an honor to represent you.


Laurie Pryor
State Representative