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Minnesota Legislature

Legislative News and Views - Rep. Kelly Morrison (DFL)

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Legislative Update- April 30, 2019

Tuesday, April 30, 2019
Dear Neighbors,
 
With less than three weeks to go in the 2019 session, the House continues its work on the state budget.

Here’s an update from the Capitol:
 

Health and Human Services

Last week, the House approved the Health and Human Services budget which makes prescription drugs more affordable, expands coverage options, and ensures care remains available for all Minnesotans. To address high premiums, Minnesotans who purchase their health insurance through a private plan on the individual market would receive a 20 percent direct premium discount.
 
My ‘Prescription Drug Price Transparency Act’ has been incorporated into the Health and Human Services Budget, which requires price transparency and public disclosure from drug manufacturers. I also have sponsored a provision included in the bill that expands coverage for breast cancer screenings for women who are at higher risk.

 
Education

Last Tuesday, the E-12 Education budget passed in the House. Cornerstones of the budget bill would: increase the per-pupil funding by 3% in 2020 and 2% in 2021; enable schools to hire more student support staff like school counselors, psychologists, and nurses; address special education shortfalls; and ensure access to voluntary pre-K for over 4,000 kids.
 

Public Safety

The two-year Public Safety and Judiciary budget was approved late last night. I’m pleased the bill includes two significant measures to prevent gun violence in Minnesota. One would require criminal background checks to be performed prior to all gun sales and another would provide for Extreme Risk Protection Orders, allowing law enforcement to restrict access to firearms if a court determines a person may be a threat to themselves. A fact sheet about steps other states have taken to address gun violence is available here.
The public safety budget also includes funding for corrections. Following the tragic loss of two corrections officers within the last year in Minnesota prisons, the budget strengthens safety by funding 110 new correctional officer positions by 2022.
 

Constituent Spotlight

Thanks to constituent Cathy Cole for her work with Habitat for Humanity and for her advocacy for affordable housing!

Stay in Touch

Our focus will shift to negotiations with the Senate as they work to pass their budget bills. Lawmakers from each chamber will form conference committees to reach agreement on a final, state budget that will require compromise. I look forward to gaining your input as we work toward an agreement.
 
Have a great week!

Kelly