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

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Legislative Update- May 14, 2020

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Rep. Morrison

 

Dear Neighbors,

Our last week of session is upon us, and we’re still working around the clock to deliver as much economic relief and sound policy changes as we can for Minnesotans who are struggling amid the COVID-19 pandemic. I’m pleased to report that most of the legislation we’ve passed this year has received bipartisan support, including the Drug Pricing Transparency Act, which is now law!

Read more below about more proposals moving through the House and recent executive action taken by the governor.

 


Tobacco 21

As a coauthor of the Tobacco 21 legislation, I am grateful to see it has advanced in the House and Senate. The bipartisan proposal raises the age for Minnesotans to purchase tobacco, tobacco products, electronic delivery devices, and other nicotine products, to 21. The federal government passed Tobacco 21 into law in December of 2019, which meant the minimum age required to legally purchase tobacco products increased from 18 to 21 for the entire country. Some retailers, however, have expressed confusion and insisted they will not comply until they see the change made at the state level. Governor Walz is expected to sign the bill into law soon.


Jobs and Local Projects Bill Unveiled

The Jobs and Local Projects proposal or “bonding” bill, has been revised from last year and is advancing in the House. Our bill invests in Minnesotans in a time when it’s needed most, and contains $2.524 billion in renovations, repairs, and replacement of public assets like higher education institutions, clean water infrastructure, correctional facilities, roads and bridges, parks and trails, municipal buildings and more. I’m pleased to report that $1.5 million of the bill includes funding to improve the city of Spring Park’s water infrastructure. Minnesotans deserve clean drinking water, especially during a public health crisis, and I’m grateful to Chair Mary Murphy for including this critical need into the Local Jobs and Projects bill. We’ll take action in the House on the bill Saturday.

 

Jobs and Local Projects Plan


 

TCE Ban- Minnesota Leads the Country!

As a physician, I was proud to co-author legislation that bans TCE, a toxic chemical and known carcinogen that is also linked to disorders of the immune and central nervous systems, renal disease, scleroderma, low birth weight, miscarriage and birth defects. When the governor signs it into law, Minnesota will become the first state to ban TCE. Read more about the bill here.


Absentee Ballots Now Available

Planning to vote in the August primary and general election, but unsure about in-person voting later this year? Fortunately, Minnesota allows for voting by mail, and now folks can start requesting their absentee ballots to do just that! No matter your party affiliation, it’s important to have all voices at the table- and keep our state number one in the nation for turnout! You can request your ballot at the Minnesota Secretary of State’s website here.

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News from Governor Walz

Yesterday, the governor announced the next phase of Minnesota’s COVID-19 response.

With the Stay Home Executive Order set to expire on May 18, Governor Walz will replace it with an order continuing to encourage Minnesotans to stay close to home but allowing for gatherings of friends and family of 10 people or less. The governor will also open retail stores and other main street businesses if they have a social distancing plan and operate at 50 percent occupancy. Additional guidance, including a template plan and checklist for businesses, is available on DEED’s website at mn.gov/deed/safework.

 

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Minnesotans are still encouraged to wear masks in public to protect our older loved ones and those with compromised immune systems. Exercising practical caution is still necessary, especially by maintaining six feet of social distancing, frequently washing your hands, covering your cough, and staying home voluntarily when you can.


Keep in Touch

Please keep in touch with ideas, questions, or input. I appreciate hearing from you, so please don’t hesitate to contact me anytime.

It’s an honor to serve our communities at the Capitol!

Sincerely,

Kelly