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

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Legislative Update- May 14, 2020

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Rep. Edelson



Dear Neighbors,

Yesterday, Governor Walz announced the next steps for Minnesota's response to COVID-19. The Stay at Home order will expire Monday, May 18 but with some limitations such as maintaining social distancing and limiting capacity at small businesses and social gatherings. Over the next several weeks, the Walz administration will work with restaurants, bars, and salons to allow them to re-open in a way that is safe beginning June 1, 2020. This process will begin with businesses creating a plan that ensures employees and patrons can work and shop safely. I have been working closely with small businesses and retailers in our community to help with this development.

To help in the process, Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), and the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) 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.

As we slowly reopen our economy, we must balance this with protecting public health- please wear a mask when you are visiting establishments. Your mask protects others and others wearing masks protects you. 

If you missed the announcement, you can watch it here.




Tobacco 21

Over the weekend, the Minnesota House approved my bill to raise the age for Minnesotans to purchase tobacco, tobacco products, electronic delivery devices, and other nicotine products, to 21. The federal government passed Tobacco 21 into law in December of 2019, which meant the minimum age required to legally purchase tobacco products increased from 18 to 21 for the entire country. Some retailers, however, have expressed confusion and insisted they will not comply until they see the change made at the state level.

It has been my honor to chief author this bill over the past two years. I’m so grateful to my co-authors on both sides of the aisle. Three years ago, I helped our community pass Tobacco 21 locally in Edina, so it’s really rewarding to see this initiative come full circle, statewide. You can watch my House Floor remarks on the bill here.


My sons, watching the floor vote on Tobacco 21.


Watching the Senate take action on Tobacco 21.

Prescription Drug Pricing Transparency Act

I also voted over the weekend to support a new law that addresses the skyrocketing prices of prescription drugs. The Prescription Drug Pricing Transparency Act requires price transparency for three categories of drugs: existing drugs, new drugs and newly acquired drugs. Manufacturers will 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.

We know prescription drugs don’t work if they aren’t affordable. We have more to do to bring down these prices, but this is a positive step forward for Minnesota.

Jobs and Local Projects Bill Unveiled

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 $2 million of the bill includes funding for the South Metro Public Safety Training Facility located in Edina. As you may recall, I had the honor of showing the House Bonding Committee firsthand the requested improvements needed to the facility last fall.


These repairs and fixes will help better prepare our first responders’ training efforts -- police and firefighters, and more -- to continue keeping us safe in our communities.

Keep in Touch

Please continue to contact me with questions, concerns, or general ideas. I value all input and perspectives, so don’t hesitate to reach out at

It’s an honor to serve our Edina residents at the Capitol!


Heather Edelson

State Representative