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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Michelle (Shelly) Christensen (DFL)

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Legislative Update - September 25, 2019

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Rep. Christensen

Dear Neighbors,

This week marks the start of fall, and as hard as it is to say goodbye to warm weather, I want to say thank you to all of the organizations, local officials, and community members that invited me to tour their facilities, learn more about their work, and talk about their ideas, priorities, and concerns over this past summer. I have lived in the St. Croix Valley my entire life, but have never had a summer quite like this! The people and places I visited are too many to list here, but some highlights from the summer include visiting the St. Croix Family Resource Center, Valley Outreach, the Lake Elmo Airport, and the Stillwater Rotary Club.

Christensen Community Pic


Christensen Community Pic 2


Christensen Community Pic 3

I also had some enlightening meetings and tours outside of the district, including an Explore MN Tourism Council meeting in Ottertail, and a tour of the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension in St. Paul. I view each of these opportunities as a chance to listen to and learn from Minnesotans about how state policies and programs impact them, and I look forward to taking their ideas back with me to the Capitol when we reconvene in February.


Oak Park Heights Work Session

In August, I attended a work session with the Oak Park Heights City Council to discuss plans for two of my bills that impact our district. The first, House File 2496, requests state funding to help with safety and traffic improvements to the intersection of 60th Street and Norell Avenue. The second, House File 1919, would establish a Community Energy Transition Grant Program to support cities like Oak Park Heights. As many are aware, Xcel Energy has announced it will close the King Plant in Oak Park Heights within the next decade. Transitioning Minnesota to a clean energy economy is critical, but it is also essential that we support communities like Oak Park Heights, for which coal plants are a significant part of the local economy. My bill would provide grants to cities like Oak Park Heights to support economic development projects, efforts to support displaced plant workers, and community and land use planning,

I am working hard to make sure that the House Capital Investment Committee makes a visit to our community later this fall as part of a tour to evaluate projects throughout the state that are asking for bonding funds. These two bills are among my biggest priorities for the 2020 legislative session and I will continue to keep you updated.


Climate Action Caucus

Climate change is one of the top issues that I hear about from fellow community members. People from across the state are organizing in their communities and urging legislators to take action, and young people are particularly dedicated to fighting climate change. Last Friday, hundreds of Minnesota students kicked off Climate Action Week by participating in the worldwide Youth Climate Strike.

Climate Action Caucus Logo


Christensen Climate Group Pic

My colleagues and I are standing in solidarity with the students as they strike. To show our support, we’ve formed a new Climate Action Caucus. This dedicated group of legislators, which I’m proud to be a part of, will work with Minnesotans on a bold, comprehensive plan to fight climate change and create a future in which we all thrive. Please stay tuned for updates.


Lily Lake Elementary

Shout out to the students of Lily Lake Elementary who visited the State Capitol last week. It was great speaking with you, and I hope you enjoyed your newly renovated Capitol building! Quick reminder that Capitol tours aren’t just for students. You can also come and take in the beauty of this historical building. You can find more information on the free tours here, and be sure to let me know if you’re planning on stopping by!

Christensen - Kids


Christensen Kids 2

Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women

It was an emotional ceremony last week as the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Task Force was launched. As a co-author of the bill that created this task force, I stand with my colleague Rep. Mary Kunesh-Podein, who courageously championed this effort to address the unconscionable fact that American Indian women face murder rates that are more than 10 times the national average. Minnesota has the 9th highest rate of missing and murdered Indigenous women in the U.S., and almost none of them are logged in a Department of Justice database.

You can watch a video from the task force launch here. We can and must do better by these women, their families, and their communities.


Insulin & Prescription Drugs

This month, DFL lawmakers in the Minnesota House of Representatives are holding a series of Community Conversations outside of the Capitol to address the soaring cost of insulin and prescription drugs.

The meetings and conversations taking place across the state are an opportunity for Minnesotans to share personal stories, learn about solutions under discussion at the Legislature, and put pressure on Big Pharma to end price gouging. If you or a loved one have been impacted by the rising cost or inaccessibility of medication, I want to hear from you.

The House will be holding a formal hearing around this issue on Thursday, because we can’t afford to wait until February to solve this crisis. You’ll be able to watch the hearing live on our House of Representatives webpage at 1pm on the 26th.

Insulin Hearing

Stay in Touch

If you have any questions, especially on the topics covered in today’s legislative update, please feel free to contact me. During the interim I’ll be back home working with neighbors to find solutions to the issues facing our community and state, and I always appreciate your input! You can reach me at (651) 296-4244 or I look forward to hearing from you!



Representative Shelly Christensen

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