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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Ginny Klevorn (DFL)

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Legislative Update- April 11, 2019

Thursday, April 11, 2019
Dear Neighbors,
Our state budget proposal in the House has been set, keeping us on track for a timely adjournment to the session on May 20. Committees are wrapping up their work on final budget bills, and we are now moving to longer floor sessions to vet and discuss the components of the legislation.
Here’s an update from the Capitol:

Governor’s State of the State Address

Governor Walz delivered his first State of the State Address on Wednesday, April. 3. His address was unique in that he shared real-life stories of Minnesotans he has worked with, taught or met. He encouraged the Legislature and all Minnesotans watching, that compromise is possible when we remember the stories and experiences our constituents have shared with us, and how we can work together to make our state better for everyone who lives here.

The Governor’s unifying message was powerful and timely, as our focus will soon shift to end-of-session compromise negotiations with the Minnesota Senate. As a mediator, I know it’s hard work we can do together.  
Constituents from LifeWorks came by recently to share their stories.
Several stories I heard from families in Plymouth over the years have dealt with access to affordable and quality health care and how we can improve our roads, bridges and transit. I’d like to highlight these two areas of our budget here:

Health and Human Services Budget

The budget strengthens health care for all Minnesotans by lowering the cost of care, making drug prices more affordable, addressing health disparities, improving health care for women, and expanding coverage options for Minnesotans.
For those in Plymouth purchasing health insurance through a private plan on the individual market, the budget includes a 20 percent direct premium discount to address high premiums. The plan also reduces costs for parents who buy-in to Medical Assistance to get services for children with disabilities.

You can read more specifics about this budget bill here.

Transportation Budget

The American Society of Civil Engineers rated Minnesota’s roads as “D+” on their most recent infrastructure report card. Bridges received a “C” and transit was awarded a “C-.”  Simply put, Minnesotans are not well served by driving on roads and bridges that are more than 50 years old. It’s time to take a responsible, long overdue approach to fix our crumbling infrastructure.

We’ve seen this problem locally; we all know what the condition of Rockford Bridge is like.
The transportation budget includes a four year phase in of a gas tax of roughly a nickel a year. This user-fee is constitutionally dedicated to our roads and bridges (it can’t be spent on anything else), which means it is the best way to ensure that our roads and bridges get the attention they need.

Hands-Free Legislation Advances to Governor

The Minnesota House of Representatives on Tuesday passed the final, compromise ‘hands free’ bill after differences were reconciled with the Minnesota Senate. I was pleased to join my colleagues to support the bipartisan measure, which received overwhelming support of 107-9. The Governor is expected to promptly sign the conference committee report this week, making Minnesota the 17th state, including the District of Columbia, to require a ‘hands free’ device while driving.

Keep in Touch

Please contact me anytime with comments or feedback. If you have any questions about a particular budget area, don’t hesitate to reach out.
It’s an honor to represent Plymouth in St. Paul!
Ginny Klevorn
State Representative