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

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Legislative Update - February 8, 2019

Friday, February 8, 2019

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

Dear neighbors,

I hope that you have stayed safe in these challenging weather conditions. This past week at the legislature we have touched on issues as diverse as our community and have had so many productive and meaningful conversations. Here are some highlights from the week.

Meeting with Constituents

This week advocates convened to raise awareness and to build support for issues related to Alzheimer’s. I had the opportunity to meet with a constituent to hear a family’s perspective. Approximately 5.7 million people live with Alzheimer’s and that number is projected to grow to more than 14 million in 2050. Caregiver stress is common when caring for someone and there is a need for support.

The Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants also held an advocacy day. I had the opportunity to connect with a constituent to talk about the need for tax conformity and the additional stress and anxiety experienced by businesses and individual filers because last session ended without legislation.

Another constituent and his colleagues connected with me this week to discuss wind energy and alternatives to fossil fuels. This week I also joined the Blue Green Caucus, which is exploring clean energy.

The 100% Clean Energy Day of Action with the 100% Campaign was held this week and I met with constituents to discuss House File 700, which is a bill to move our state toward 100% clean energy.

This week it was also Pharmacy Legislative Day at the capitol, and I had the opportunity to have a conversation with two constituents who are future pharmacists on opportunities and legislative initiatives to improve consumer experience.

I also met with NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, to discuss suicide prevention and mental health parity, some of the most pressing issues that affect too many people in our district and state.

Committee Meetings, Hearings, and Floor Debates

On Monday we held our first official house floor debate on a bill to allow homeowners to place an affidavit on their property title rejecting restrictive covenants that were designed to limit ownership of properties by race. The bill was passed unanimously and gave the house floor an opportunity to acknowledge the injustice of a historical inequity in our state that will allow us further discussion on reducing current inequities. See the below image for examples of restrictive covenants.

In the Transportation Committee we had hearings this week on four bills, including HF131, which would allow reimbursement for vehicle registration over-payments, as well as modifications to bicycle traffic regulations and a bill that would authorize physical therapists to provide medical statements for disability parking privileges. Another bill was heard to designate a portion of Highway 95 as the “Corrections Officer Joseph Gomm Memorial Highway.” Officer Gomm was a corrections officer killed in the line of duty.

I was excited to meet another constituent who testified in support of HF400, which is a bill to establish an opioid stewardship program so that drug manufacturers can be held accountable for the devastating impacts of the opioid crisis.

In the Community

I had the pleasure of touring Bruce Vento Elementary and learning more about the Saint Paul Public School system. I also had the privilege of meeting with veterans from the Minnesota Commanders' Task Force to support work with veterans.

Along with five of my colleagues in our state house and senate, I participated in a press conference on Wednesday to announce the formation of the United Black Legislative Caucus, which will enable us to work together to advocate for issues affecting black Minnesotans. Read more about the formation of our caucus here.

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

Ruth Richardson