I hope you have had a good week and have stayed safe with the rough weather. The House has been chugging along these final few weeks of session, as we are passing a series of bills.
Here is an update from St. Paul.
Minnesotans love craft beer and spirits, and they also want a safe and competitive liquor marketplace. For too long, our state liquor laws have prevented our local breweries and distilleries from growing and thriving. On Wednesday, The House passed my bill to modernize our liquor laws by increasing the growler cap for breweries from 20,000 barrels to 150,000 barrels of beer sold annually, allowing distilleries to sell more products to the public, and more.
Included in the bill is a measure which will allow the city of Anoka to operate a “social district”, where people can walk between bars and restaurants with drinks in their hands.
This bill is an agreement resulting from months of work with stakeholders from all over our state and all corners of the liquor industry. I’m proud to bring it forward.
This week the House also passed my legislation to legalize sports betting in Minnesota. Since the United States Supreme Court allowed states to legalize sports betting in 2018, Minnesotans have been waiting as 30 other states have legalized the practice.
This bill allows sports betting in-person at tribal casinos and mobile platforms. House DFLers have listened to and consulted with our sovereign tribal nations and stakeholders to ensure the best outcome for Minnesotans. Our bill is a step in the right direction to ensure consumer protection while engaging in sports betting.
The City of Coon Rapids broke ground on May 2 on a new fire station that will be used to train firefighters. The fire station will be located at 11091 Mississippi Blvd. NW and will provide another way to provide safety to the public.
Our dedicated firefighters work hard every day to keep us safe and risk their own health and safety while they answer our calls for help. I co-authored successful bipartisan legislation that was recently signed into law to extend the Hometown Heroes Assistance Program, which provides firefighters with free access to emotional trauma resources, up to $20,000 from critical illness insurance policies, and ongoing health and wellness training, including evidence-based suicide prevention strategies. Minnesota firefighters have access to the education, prevention, and care to handle a cardiac, emotional trauma, or cancer diagnosis.
As someone who has had a firefighter in my family, I appreciate the endless sacrifices and grueling hours it takes to be a first responder, and the toll it can take on a family. We owe our first responders a debt of gratitude.
Please continue to reach out anytime if you need assistance or have questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-296-5513.
It’s an honor to represent our Coon Rapids and Champlin families in St. Paul.
Rep. Zack Stephenson
Minnesota House of Representatives | District 36A