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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Heather Edelson (DFL)

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Legislative Update- March 22, 2019

Friday, March 22, 2019
Dear Neighbors,
We’ve reached our halfway point of the legislative session. Here’s an update from the Capitol:

Thank you

A big thank you to everyone who attended and participated in our Senate District 49 Town Hall meeting last Thursday. We had an excellent turn out and I appreciated all the questions and feedback. We are planning a post session town hall; stay tuned for the details!

Governor Walz Releases Revised Budget

Governor Tim Walz today released his revised Budget for One Minnesota for the next biennium. The revised budget accounts for the recent economic forecast while continuing to make smart investments in education, health care, and community prosperity. The budget also includes strategic spending reductions and tax bill adjustments. You can read more about his plan here.

Minnesota House Approves Hands-Free Cell Phone Bill

Minnesotans deserve to be safe on our roadways, crosswalks, bike paths and sidewalks, and we want our friends, neighbors, and relatives to be safe, too. That’s why the Minnesota House this week approved the hands-free cell phone bill (House File 50). I was honored to vote in favor of this life-saving, common-sense measure.
According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, distracted or inattentive driving was a contributing factor in one in five crashes from 2013-2017, resulting in an average of 53 deaths and 216 serious injuries each year.
Sixteen other states and the District of Columbia have hands-free cell phone laws. According to WCCO’s latest Reality Check, crashes and fatalities on the road decrease when states have hands-free cell phone laws on the books.

Addressing the Opioid Crisis in Minnesota

In 2016, nearly 400 Minnesotans died as a result of opioid overdoses. In 2017, there were more than 2,000 visits to emergency rooms for opioid-involved overdoses. The rate of opioid-related overdose deaths has steadily increased each year since 2010.
In response to this epidemic, I voted in favor of legislation to establish an Opioid Stewardship Advisory Council to fund addiction prevention, treatment, and recovery services. These services will be funded by grants from a new Opioid Stewardship Fund, resources for which would come from fees paid by pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors.
Pharmaceutical companies have collected billions in profits over the years, while Minnesota taxpayers have had to bear the brunt of these costs through the operation of jails and prisons, out-of-home child placements, and health costs. It’s time these manufacturers and distributors start contributing to the solution.

Angel Investor Tax Credit Proposal

Recently, there was a public hearing on a bill that would make our state’s Angel Investor Tax Credit permanent. The program ended in 2017 and supported startup and early stage companies focused on Minnesota’s technology sector. This bill has bipartisan support in the House and the Senate. You can read more about the proposal here.

Stay in Touch

Please continue to share your feedback with me as the legislative session continues. I value your input!
Heather Edelson
State Representative