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

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Legislative Update - March 22, 2019

Friday, March 22, 2019

Here’s a quick update from the Capitol as we head into the final couple of months of the legislative session.
This week I presented a bill with Sheriff Tim Leslie about the Dakota County law enforcement SMART Center. The bill would help with construction of a center focused on the safety and mental health alternative responses for first responders. As the roles of first responders have changed, it’s important that they are provided with the training to recognize when a person is in crisis, and that they have to tools to bring the situation to a safe resolution.
I also presented my bill seeking a tax exemption for construction materials and equipment for the Mendota Heights Fire Station.
I was honored to be joined by Mendota Heights Mayor Garlock, Fire Chief Dreelan, and Dakota County Sheriff Tim Leslie

I was honored to be invited to speak at Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Day at the Capitol. An estimated 1 in 20 U.S. school children have a brain injury associated with FASD. I am proud to be the chief author on two bipartisan bills focused on this issue. The first focuses on prevention of the disorder and the second supports people living with the condition.

I’m always inspired when neighbors from the district are motivated to come to the Capitol for the first time. I was honored to meet with this family who came to celebrate a special birthday and wanted me to be a small part of the celebration. We talked about being first generation college students and the importance of investing in education as one of the pathways out of poverty for families.

I want to let you know about a job and resource opportunity hosted by IBEW - this is a great way to jump-start a career or learn about job options. On Thursday, April 4 from 3-7p.m. at 1330 Conway St. in St. Paul you can learn about the benefits of union jobs and even get hired on the spot.

I met with a neighbor who works as a paraprofessional and is a member of SEIU. Paraprofessionals are tasked with serving some of our highest need children. We need to invest in comprehensive and ongoing training and support.

This week I met with a neighbor and other advocates to learn about manufactured home cooperatives.

A neighbor and a representative of Target come visit me for Retail Day at the Capitol! We talked about a number of issues, including paid family leave. I also learned that the Target logo at the Inver Grove Heights store on Argenta Trail is different than the logo in West Saint Paul…bonus points for anyone who can spot the difference and I can share why they’re different.

This was one of the most emotional meetings I ever had with a constituent. This strong and courageous neighbor shared her story of losing her son to senseless violence. Out of unspeakable tragedy and pain she has become an amazing advocate for all our children and I am proud she wants to work with me to pursue legislation in honor of her son who was tragically taken away from her.

I’ve spent a lot of late nights at the Capitol the past few weeks hearing from neighbors and working on legislation. Even when you’re exhausted, the majesty of the Capitol cannot be denied. Thank you again for putting your trust in me to represent our district.

Have a great weekend and let me know if you have any questions or comments for me.
Ruth Richardson