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

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Legislative Update- August 30, 2019

Friday, August 30, 2019

Dear Neighbors,
Back-to-School season is already here! Over the summer and legislative session, I visited with students, parents, teachers, support staff, and administrators from our local school districts. During these conversations, a consistent theme emerged: Minnesotans value quality schools for their own children, and want the same for their neighbors, relatives, and friends, too. This year, Democrats and Republicans came together to pass a budget that makes new investments in our students of all ages and abilities. Our school districts will see a per-student funding increase over the next two years, continued voluntary pre-K opportunities, and more resources to help address special education funding shortfalls.
There’s more we can do to ensure our students have access to support services they need, like counselors and school psychologists. As a member on the Early Childhood Finance and Policy Committee, I’ll keep advocating for common sense mental health policies that help keep our kids safe inside and outside of school.

Mental Health Awareness

I recently had the honor of participating in the Northern Lights Lacrosse Festival by dropping the ceremonial ball in the first game of the day. The festival is Don Amorosi’s inspiration to honor his son Archer. It was a daylong celebration of life, lacrosse and Archer’s memory, and a wonderful way to educate kids and families about teen mental health challenges.

Gun Violence Prevention

Earlier this month, I joined Protect Minnesota, Moms Demand Action, and hundreds of Minnesotans for a rally on the steps of the Minnesota State Capitol to call for changes to end mass shootings and other senseless gun violence. Minnesotans have been loud and clear that they want their legislators to address the epidemic of senseless gun violence in our communities, and I am committed to common-sense solutions like criminal background checks and extreme risk protection orders to keep guns out of the hands of people who are a danger to themselves or others. This remains a priority for me as we look to the 2020 session in February.


I’ve been working with legislators from both sides of the aisle in the House and Senate since the 2019 session adjourned to discuss emergency access to insulin. Although some consensus was reached recently on the framework of an insulin assistance program, Democrats prefer imposing a fee on drug manufacturers who have helped create this problem by increasing the price of insulin, rather than the Senate's plan, which would have Minnesota taxpayers fund the program.
Minnesotans shared their concerns and input for improving access to insulin and addressing the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs at our first roundtable discussion a couple weeks ago. Lawmakers, advocates, and families living with diabetes discussed the next steps to solve this crisis facing far too many Minnesotans. You can find my remarks from our discussion here.
Later this summer and fall, the House will hold additional Community Conversations around the state to give more Minnesotans a direct opportunity to join the dialogue over insulin prices and access.
I’ll be holding a community conversation on this topic on September 23 from 7:15-8:45 p.m. at the Shorewood Community Center (5735 Country Club Road, Shorewood, MN). Everybody is welcome to attend.

Mining Near the BWCA

I’m hearing from residents of our water-rich district about their concerns about the potential impact of the proposed PolyMet and Twin Metals copper-sulfide mines on northeastern Minnesota, but also on the entire state.

I recently joined a number of my colleagues in the House and Senate in submitting a letter to Governor Walz to respectfully urge him to review state permitting of the proposed Glencore/PolyMet project. Our letter to the Governor outlines concerns about the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s suppression of EPA comments critical of the water permit issued to PolyMet by Minnesota regulators. We have never done copper-sulfide mining in our state and it is a much higher risk endeavor than traditional taconite mining. An accident at the proposed PolyMet site would drain into Lake Superior and pollute tribal lands. Given that Lake Superior represents 11% of the world’s fresh water, any efforts to sidestep normal regulatory procedures are a significant cause for concern. They would also set a precedent that would allow Twin Metals to proceed in a similar fashion, thereby endangering the BWCA. You can find the letter and story from the Pioneer Press here.

Additionally, I’ll continue to advocate for my legislation that reviews and modifies the mining permitting process to ensure that health impact assessments are done and that the financial assurances from the multinational conglomerates that would benefit from these mines are adequate so that Minnesota taxpayers are protected.

September 15-Neighborhood Gathering

I’m co-hosting a community conversation with my colleague, Rep. Laurie Pryor (DFL-Eden Prairie), on September 15 at 5:30-7:30 p.m. the home of Carol and Don Kuster (19625 Chimo West St Deephaven, MN 55391). Please RSVP to All are welcome to join! 

Keep in Touch

Please continue to reach out with questions, ideas, or input. Don’t hesitate to let me know how I can be of assistance to you and your family.
Have a great Labor Day Weekend!