Here is the latest news about the proposals advancing in the legislature, and what we’re working on in the House.
House Jobs and Local Projects Proposal Announced
The Jobs and Local Projects proposal or “bonding” bill, has been revised from last year and is advancing in the House. Our bill invests in Minnesotans in a time when it’s needed most, and contains $2.524 billion in renovations, repairs, and replacement of public assets like higher education institutions, clean water infrastructure, correctional facilities, roads and bridges, parks and trails, municipal buildings and more. I’m pleased to report that $7.5 million of the bill includes funding to expand and renovate the Plymouth Creek Center. You can read my full statement on the project’s inclusion here. We’ll take action in the House on the bill tomorrow.
Prescription Drug Price Transparency Act
I’m pleased to report that The Prescription Drug Pricing Transparency Act, which helps address skyrocketing prescription drug prices, is now law. Manufacturers will now be required to report drug pricing information for drugs that exceed certain thresholds or increase by a certain percentage over a 12 or 24-month period. The Minnesota Department of Health will post this information on a public website in an easily accessible and clear format. Drug manufacturers are currently not subject to the same price transparency regulation as hospitals, providers and health plans.
Prescription drug affordability is one of the top issues I hear about from our Plymouth neighbors, and this is a good first step toward driving prices down. I’ll continue to work on this important issue over the interim.
The bipartisan ‘Tobacco 21’ legislation is expected to be signed into law very soon by the governor. Passage of this proposal raises the age for Minnesotans to purchase tobacco, tobacco products, electronic delivery devices, and other nicotine products, to 21. Although the federal government passed Tobacco 21 into law in December of 2019, some retailers have expressed confusion and insisted they will not comply until they see the change made at the state level.
I am proud Plymouth was one of the first Minnesota cities who led the way on this public health initiative by enacting it locally in 2018.
Plymouth T21 champions visiting with me last year at the Capitol.
Governor’s Stay at Home order lifted; Encourages Continued Precautions
The current stay at home order will expire on Monday, May 18th,?and will be replaced with an order allowing for more businesses to reopen in addition to other changes. Governor Walz made the announcement on Wednesday and extended the current peacetime emergency?through June 12th. These emergency powers have enabled the governor to take necessary action to secure the safety of Minnesotans?and deliver emergency relief to residents of our state who have been harmed economically by this pandemic.
To help businesses reopen in this process, Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), and the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI) have developed a template plan and guidance that businesses can use as a starting point. Businesses aren’t required to use this template, but a business’ plan does need to follow CDC and MDH guidelines and OSHA standards. Businesses also aren’t required to submit their plans to the state for approval, but they should be prepared to provide a copy of their plan if requested. Copies of the plan must be distributed to workers.
Wearing a mask and social distancing are respectful to our Plymouth neighbors, our health care workers, and other Minnesotans. We still need to do all that we can to slow the spread of this virus and prevent our health care system from being overwhelmed.
Keep in Touch
Please contact me with input, questions, or ideas. I value all viewpoints, so don’t hesitate to reach out anytime at email@example.com.
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Have a nice weekend and take good care.