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

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Legislative Update - March 29, 2019

Friday, March 29, 2019

Dear Neighbors,
I want to thank the 40-plus constituents who came to my Chat with Kelly on Sunday. It was a good conversation and I deeply value this engagement from the community. One more of these chats this session will be held on Sunday, April 28 at 1:30 p.m. at Shore 96 in Shoreview.

This week, I joined several colleagues in welcoming Rep. Heather Edelson’s intern to the House Floor.

I also thank the young constituents who have provided plenty of artwork for my Capitol office.


Making Prescription Drugs More Affordable and Accessible

30 percent of Minnesotans, according to a recent study, say they have not taken their medicine as prescribed due to costs, or have reported skipping doses, cutting pills in half, substituting over-the-counter drugs, or not filling a prescription in the past year. It’s unconscionable that people feel forced to make choices like these due to high prices, and we must take action to address this crisis.
This week, the House announced a new comprehensive plan to make prescription drugs more affordable and accessible by holding pharmaceutical companies accountable and putting more power in the hands of Minnesotans who are struggling with the skyrocketing cost of medications. A fact sheet with more information about the plan is available here.
Our plan is among the strongest efforts in the country to address the rising cost of prescription drugs. It increases transparency for drug manufacturers, improves accountability for Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs), and leverages the State of Minnesota’s purchasing power to cut costs. All Minnesotans deserve access to the medicine they need and I’m proud to support these solutions.

Protecting our Environment

One issue I’ve heard about from many in the community is the need to protect our environment. Environmental conservation is a strong value that I hold, which is why I am the co-author of several bills to protect our air, soil, and water. One of the most notable is HF 700, which seeks to achieve a 100 percent carbon-free energy standard by 2050. This plan gives us the opportunity to combat climate change, create good-paying jobs and deliver low-cost energy to Minnesotans. HF 962 funds the University of Minnesota Forever Green Agriculture Initiative funding. By incorporating perennial and winter-annual crops into existing agricultural practices, this effort increases the efficiency, profitability, and productivity of Minnesota farmers while protecting our natural resources. HF 1882 includes controls for commercial fisheries to protect against aquatic invasive species.
Another bill moving through the legislative process is HF 1502, which addresses the excessive use of salt for snow and ice melt. The bill creates a voluntary training and certification program for private sector plowing services. The need to address this issue is urgent. Last year, Freshwater highlighted the level of pollution Lake Johanna has experienced due to over-salting.

Stopping Youth Smoking

For the first time in a generation, youth tobacco use is actually on the rise. I’m committed to improving public health in Minnesota and part of this is reversing the trend of increased smoking among young people. One idea to accomplish this raises the minimum age to purchase tobacco to 21. Many local communities have already taken this step, including Arden Hills and Shoreview, and HF 331 would do this statewide. This is a bipartisan proposal which I’m hopeful can become law this year.
The emergence of e-cigarettes has also opened the door to tobacco for many young people. During a committee hearing, we were shown how tobacco companies market these products to youth – with flavors, packaging, and even a hooded sweatshirt that can be used to hide and consume these products. Recently, the House passed HF 349, which adds e-cigarettes to the definition of smoking under the Minnesota Clean Indoor Air Act. The U.S. Surgeon General has called e-cigarette use among youth an epidemic, and this measure will help address it.

Let’s Stay Connected

I am working on many important issues at the Capitol. Often I tweet about them or post them on Facebook. To see the bills I've authored and co-authored, please click here. To follow bills through the legislative process, you can use the MyBills service on the Legislature’s website. Additionally, Session Daily provides regular nonpartisan recaps of legislative activity.
If you have any questions for me or concerns about issues, please feel free to email me or call to schedule a meeting. I also hope to see you at my next "Chat with Kelly" at Shore 96 on April 28.
It’s an honor to represent you at the Capitol.
Kelly Moller
State Representative