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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Kristin Bahner (DFL)

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Legislative Update: March 17, 2021

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

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Rep. Bahner

Dear Neighbors,

The first committee deadline is behind us, but the pace of the legislative session is not slowing down. I have one bill ready for a vote of the full House, five that have been heard in all of their committee stops and laid over for possible inclusion in the larger bills, three bills are still in the committee process, four bills are being refined for future success, and three bills in the idea stage, ranging from insurance reform to ensuring justice for survivors of Asbestos exposure.

I am also working to champion House File 81, to establish a pharmacogenomics (PGx) task force, by partnering with one of my Republican colleagues, because it has great promise for the health of our citizens and the innovation of our state. It is a hectic time, but I can still say I truly love doing this work on behalf of my community and all Minnesotans

I am also continuing my work with colleagues and leadership to finalize a solid plan as we transition away from the Peacetime Emergency and toward what we hope will be brighter times ahead. We are making great strides in vaccinations and rates are going down. Thank you for your help with masking, distancing, helping kiddos with homework and caring for your neighbors. 

It is important to note, while we have made good progress vaccinating some of our most vulnerable populations, we have much more work to do to ensure the continued economic security and prosperity of all Minnesotans. Those who follow me know I believe in setting realistic expectations and using straight talk. The reality is the legislature continues its work to support those who received PPP loans, unemployment insurance, housing addressing growing homelessness and the need for mental health support, while helping our students who may be suffering the consequences of learning loss.

The legislative process can seem slow and methodical, however, the Minnesota legislature is a deliberative body that takes care of the needs of those in all corners of the state. I also know that members of all ideologies take this responsibility seriously. We are all working toward the same goals, although we may have different approaches. I believe our community needs us to rise above division, move forward and help all families to thrive.

I Want to Hear from You

It’s an honor to serve our community at the State Capitol. The legislative session began January 5th. I’d like your feedback on issues that could be discussed this year.

As your Representative, I’m committed to recovering and rebuilding from COVID, and ensuring Minnesotans have affordable health care, economic security and great educational opportunities. My mission is to help Minnesotans get through this pandemic and allow our community to thrive once again. 

I invite you to complete the following survey and let me know what you hope to see at the legislature this session. Feel free to get in touch with me anytime. I appreciate hearing from you!



Maple Grove Community Center 

The Maple Grove Community Center serves as the go to place for seniors and activities like pickleball, aquarobics and a splash down the Grove Cove water slide. From basketball to birthday parties, banquets to bustling conferences, and sports tournaments to weddings, many of us have shared some significant moments of our lives there.

My new bill, (House File 933) proposes to allow the city of Maple Grove to impose a .5% local sales tax based on voter approval to fund potential projects. LOST or Local Option Sales Tax is a way to fund improvements in our city without raising property taxes - and would be shared by all people that visit, work and live in our city.  

The expansion and renovation will include critical cost saving measures to install energy efficient systems while renovating existing banquet and meeting spaces, and expanding aquatic and athletic spaces. It will serve the needs of an age friendly Maple Grove through greater services to seniors and meet citizens where they are by expanding access to food and housing support for the community.


Gag Rule Reimbursement Rates 

My bill (House File 1576) would remove the prohibition placed on pharmacists from discussing reimbursement rates. This will allow pharmacists to further the conversation about fair compensation to cover their costs without a gag clause that restricts them from advocating

for their business and the patients they serve. 

The bill does not change rates or dictate prices – it is simply about transparency and having the tools to advocate on behalf of small corner pharmacies. You can read more about the bill and track its progress this session here.


Equal Rights Amendment 

I am lead author of the bill (House File 726) to guarantee equality in the Minnesota Constitution and ensure a future full of opportunities for the next generation of Minnesotans. This bill is simple; it simply asks that men and women be treated equally under the law. It does not ask for special treatment or privileges, and does not seek to change existing laws of any kind, merely that we apply the law equally. This week, I joined students from J.J. Hill school for a march and inspiring speech in support of the Equal Rights Amendment. I am more grateful than ever to witness the strength, passion and drive of young men and women continuing to lead the way for equality and standing up for their rights.


Home Visiting Bill 

The first three years of a child’s life are critical to making sure everyone can live happy, healthy, fulfilling lives. Children who meet healthy physical and cognitive development benchmarks during the first three years are more likely to be prepared for school, have stronger relationships, and ultimately have healthier, stable and prosperous lives. I ran for office to make a difference in my community and ensure everyone the opportunity to thrive. 

My bill (House File 1197) establishes grants for home visiting programs for pregnant women and families with young children. Through the bill, the commissioner of health is directed to award grants to organizations to start-up or expand evidence-based, evidence-informed, or promising practice home visiting programs. The bill appropriates $16.5 million in each of fiscal years 2022 and 2023 for the grants. I am excited to see this bill make its way through committees and will be sure to keep you informed on any further progress.


Democracy for the People Act and Secure Elections 

In the Minnesota House, my colleagues and I have joined together to push forward legislation to secure our democracy. House File 9, introduced by Rep. Greenman, passed out of three House committees. This bill contains a good deal of democracy reform needed in our state, including ending dark money, instituting automatic voter registration with robust checks and balances for clean and accurate voter rolls, and establishing principles for fair redistricting. 

This includes two stand-alone bills I carried last session and again this session, one on Automatic Voter Registration that ensures clean voter rolls with robust checks and balances to ensure that legal eligible voters can vote on Election Day. The other elections bill requires disclosure for money spent to influence elections, because no matter who is spending the money, voters have a right to know who is trying to influence their vote thus allowing them to make informed choices.

Reduced COVID-19 Restrictions in MN Starting Today

Beginning today, Minnesotans can safely gather with more friends and loved ones and do more to support small businesses harmed the most by COVID-19. Governor Walz and public health officials say restrictions can be eased because Minnesotans are following public health guidelines, hospitalizations are falling, and the state is weeks ahead of schedule on vaccinations. Nearly 1.2 million Minnesotans and more than 70 percent of seniors have gotten a shot. Click here to watch Gov. Walz’s news conference announcing the changes, or click here to read coverage from the Star Tribune.

New Business & Gathering Guidelines

Alec Smith Insulin Affordability Act

Since taking effect last July, the Minnesota Board of Pharmacy has reported that 465 Minnesotans have obtained access to life-saving insulin thanks to the Alec Smith Insulin Affordability Act.

This is one small, but significant step forward in our efforts to make lifesaving medication affordable to anyone who needs it. It’s also a tangible example of what we can do for people when we work together on bipartisan solutions for Minnesotans.

If you or anyone you know might need an urgent need of a 30-day supply of affordable insulin, please visit where you can see if you qualify, download the application, and learn how to apply today.

Affordable Insuling

Emergency Rent Assistance Deadline: March 19

Households with unpaid rent and low incomes may qualify for help paying for rent and utility bills. The deadline to apply is Friday, March 19 at noon.

Learn more and apply now

Rent is still due during the State of Minnesota’s evictions moratorium. You can’t be evicted for not paying rent under Governor Walz’s executive order, but this order may be lifted soon and you will be at risk of eviction if you have unpaid rent. Don’t wait to apply for help.

The is an initial short-term program to get urgent help to households with high need. More help will be offered to even more households through a statewide COVID-19 Emergency Rent Assistance program opening later this month.


Hackers Seized on the Pandemic. Some States Are Fighting Back.

Read more here.

While we overcome the COVID-19 crisis and create a better Minnesota, I urge you all to stay in touch with me through e-mail, and help make our community a place for unity.

Thank you for the honor of representing our Maple Grove and Osseo residents and families in the Minnesota House! 


State Representative Kristin Bahner

Common Sense - Common Ground - Common Good

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