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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Jeremy Munson (R)

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LEGISLATIVE UPDATE FROM REP. JEREMY MUNSON DISTRICT 23-B

Friday, March 13, 2020

COVID-19 Response

This week in the Health and Human Services Committee, we discussed a bill to allow the Governor to declare a peacetime state of emergency in response to public health emergencies like COVID-19 (Coronavirus). By adding "Public Health Emergency" to the types of "peacetime state of emergencies," the Governor would get broader power to do things like call out the national guard or ban public gatherings. 

Today the Governor had a press conference declaring a "peacetime state of emergency," but stopped short of giving any orders to close schools or government.  He simply asked people to engage in preventive precautions. Gatherings over 250 people are discouraged by the Health Department, and smaller ones should be able to allow people to be 6 feet away from each other.

Next week, I will be watching the legislature's attempts at putting together emergency bills. I want to make sure that they actually help the situation and don't just expand the Governor's power permanently, trample on civil rights, or throw money at problems with no accountability. 

 

Tim Barry and Rep. Munson

Rep. Munson sits next to Tim Barry, Cassie's dad who has worked hard to make this bill a reality

Cassie's Law passes out of Public Safety Committee

This week after three hearings, Cassie's Law, which is meant to help those with mental illness due to traumatic brain injury and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. It now heads the main fiscal committee in the House, Ways, and Means for a discussion of the costs of implementing the bill. 

 

Give it Back!

I introduced the Give it Back! Act this week.  Although there are other tax reform proposals out there, most of them redistribute the surplus to people who get more money back than they pay in.  My plan is different because it gives money BACK to people who paid taxes.  Governor Walz thinks that in the current crisis, the Government needs the money more than you do.  I think individuals may need the money, and it is their over-collected tax money. 

 

Give it Back Logo

 

Coming up Next Week

  • The Legislature is under pressure to finish its work and adjourn.  Next week is deadline week anyway, and usually, there would be lengthy hearings as bills struggle to make the deadline or risk not being passed this session.
  • HHS Finance will probably be hearing the Peacetime Public Health Emergency Bill on Monday again, now that different committees have amended it.
  • We don't know yet what bills will be on the floor next week besides the COVID-19 Response, but the Governor's supplemental budget will be heard in committee next week, and with the desire to speed things along, it could already have passed by the time you get my next update.  
  • If you'd like to get in touch, you can email me directly at Rep.Jeremy.Munson@house.mn or contact my Legislative Assistant Barbara at Barbara.Smith@house.mn

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