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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Zack Stephenson (DFL)

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Legislative Update- January 31, 2019

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Dear Neighbors,

I hope this finds you warm- and safe! With these dangerously frigid temperatures upon us, the Minnesota Energy Assistance Program may help anyone you know who is experiencing difficulties with their heating bills. More information about the program and how to apply can be found here.

Additionally, if you are interested in learning more about how to reduce your own energy use, the Department has compiled some simple tips here.

It’s been a whirlwind of activity since I was sworn in to represent Coon Rapids and Champlin at the Capitol. I’ve appreciated hearing from so many constituents eager to see positive change.

As the 91st session of the Minnesota Legislature is in full swing, I’m writing with a few updates.

Committees & Bills

I am thrilled to share with you all that I have been selected as Vice Chair of the Commerce Committee this session. Additionally, I serve on the Energy and Climate Finance and Policy Division as well as the Jobs and Economic Development Finance Division. I’m committed to digging deep into policy issues and finding solutions to the issues that affect our community. Keep in mind, these committees are open to the public and you are always welcome to stop by, or listen in from the House website.

Two of my bills had their first committee hearings on Tuesday. House File 15 repeals the marital rape exception, which makes it impossible to prosecute people for rape under certain circumstances if the victim was married to the rapist. It was heard in the Public Safety Committee, and the committee voted for the bill unanimously. The committee heard the powerful testimony of Jenny Teeson, who endured the horrific experience of being drugged and raped by her husband, only to see prosecution barred by the law this bill would repeal.

House File 319 delivers federal employees impacted by the federal government shutdown access to interest free loans. While the shutdown is over, it is very possible we could see another in just a few days and it is important to make sure that our federal employees don't suffer because of partisan gamesmanship in Washington. The bill passed through the committee, but unfortunately the Republicans on the committee didn't support it. Hopefully we can earn their support in the future.

Both bills will be heard in different committees next week. HF 15 will be in the Judiciary and Civil Law Committee, while HF 319 will be in the Jobs and Economic Development Committee.


Thank you

It is an honor to serve you at the Capitol. Please do not hesitate to share any concerns or questions with me. You can reach me by email at or by phone at 651-296-5513. If you ever have plans to visit the capitol, please let me know! My office is 371 of the State Office Building, and you are always welcome to stop by.

For additional updates, you can “like” or “follow” my Facebook page here.


Zack Stephenson

State Representative