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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Ruth Richardson (DFL)

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Legislative Update - February 1, 2019

Friday, February 1, 2019

Rep. Ruth Richardson Email Banner - Photo of the Minnesota State Capitol

Dear neighbors,

In spite of the bitter cold we continue to be hard at work in Saint Paul and in the district. Here are just a few highlights from the week.

Meeting You Where You Are

Rep Richardson poses for a group photo at the Minnesota United Snowmobile Association event

This week Representatives Hansen and Lee joined me at the Minnesota United Snowmobile Association event. I connected with several neighbors from Inver Grove Heights. The association is volunteer-powered and 97 percent of the more than 22,000 miles of snowmobile trails are maintained by association volunteers. I am looking forward to joining them on a ride soon.

I’ve been busy connecting with constituents on two bills (House File 8 and House File 9) in Saint Paul and in the district. These bills are designed with the goal of keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous people. House File 8 is focused on criminal background checks and House File 9 is a red flag bill. Similar legislation has been passed in both red and blue states. I’m sitting down with neighbors on all sides of these issues and will continue to have those conversations.

Photo: Rep Richardson is visited at her office by two families

This week I have been connecting directly with constituents on a number of issues in addition to gun violence prevention. To give you an inside look on what neighbors are concerned about check out this partial list:

  • Nutrition and food insecurity issues
  • Making higher education more affordable
  • Motorcycle safety
  • Reproductive Rights
  • Banking and commerce
  • Transit infrastructure
  • Immunization exemptions
  • K - 12 education
  • Water conservation
  • Climate change
  • Healthcare
  • Disability

I always enjoy connecting with constituents. Please continue to reach out and share your perspectives on the issues that are most important to you.

Talking Issues

In addition to connecting with constituents I have also had the opportunity to connect with a number of advocates and state agencies on a variety of issues.

Photo: Rep Richardson visits with State Human Rights Department workers

I sat down with Educators for Excellence and the Minnesota Department of Human Rights to discuss school discipline data. Did you know that children with disabilities are two times more likely to be suspended than their peers without disabilities? American Indian students are 10 times more likely to be suspended than white peers and black students are eight times more likely to be suspended than white peers. I’m looking forward to continuing conversations for strategies on addressing these disparities with constituents and stakeholders.

Photo of a sexual violence-awareness pamphlet

I had the chance to connect with the Arc Minnesota to discuss legislation to help prevent the victimization of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities I/DD. People with I/DD experience sexual violence seven times more often than those without disabilities.

Photo: Rep Richardson visits with a representative of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen

This week I met with a representative from the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen. Railroad safety is an important issue in our district and the Brotherhood is committed to ensuring safe passage through our communities.

Committee Meetings and Hearings

A great milestone this week was testifying at my first public hearing in support of a project to benefit Inver Grove Heights. Mayor George Tourville and Fire Chief Judy Thill joined me to testify on behalf ofHouse File 279, a bill to aid the construction of a new fire station. Senator Matt Klein is working to advance a companion bill in the senate.

Photo: Rep Richardson attends a committee hearing in the State Office Building

In the Community

An important message from the Henry Sibley Counselors:

The Dakota County Library is hosting several events for teenagers this spring. See below for more information:
Teen Job Fair
Wednesday March 20, 3-7 pm
Wentworth Library
199 Wentworth Ave E, West St Paul
Teens, young adults and parents are encouraged to attend this job fair to meet with local employers and learn how to develop the skills needed to get their first job.
FAFSA Completion Workshop
Thursday April 4, 6-7:30 pm
Wescott Library
1340 Wescott Road, Eagan
Complete the online FAFSA with help from a financial aid professional or just come to have your questions about paying for college answered. Presented by Dakota County Technical College.
Summer Job Application Workshop for Teens
Get the jump on finding and landing the best summer jobs. Drop in any time to get help with your online application or resume from a Dakota County Workforce specialist. Bring names or types of employers you would like to work for. Ages: 14-18.
Saturday March 30, 1-2:30 pm
Burnhaven Library
1101 County Rd 42 W, Burnsville
Thursday April 11, 6-7:30 pm
Galaxie Library
14955 Galaxie Ave, Apple Valley
Monday April 15, 3:30-5 pm
Wescott Library
1340 Wescott Road, Eagan
Dogs for Finals
Saturday May 11, 11:30 am-12:30 pm
Wescott Library
1340 Wescott Road, Eagan
Relieve stress brought on by end-of-year studying for high school or college finals. Drop in to visit with therapy dogs, refill on coffee and snacks and enjoy a coloring sheet or craft.

If you have any questions, ideas or concerns you can always reach out by phone at 651-296-4192 and email at, or stop by our office in room 403 of the State Office Building.

Ruth Richardson