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

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Legislative Update - April 5, 2019

Friday, April 5, 2019
On Wednesday, Governor Walz gave his State of the State address. He focused on stories of Minnesotans – and the real challenges and strengths we hold – to demonstrate how important it is for us to set aside partisan bickering to finish the end of session strong. You can watch the whole speech here.

This week the House committees are rolling out their budgets and priorities. Here’s an overview of some of the proposals introduced so far:
  • The Health and Human Services Committee announced a proposal to lower the cost of health care, address the rising cost of prescription drug prices, increase the quality of coverage, and give patients and their doctors more power over their care.
  • The Early Childhood Committee announced a bill that would make permanent the School Readiness Plus program – preserving access to preschool for 4,000 children; increase investment in early learning scholarships, with a focus on birth to age three; and pass my bill to prevent suspension and expulsion of children from preschool programs.
  • The Higher Education Committee announced a budget to reduce student debt and freeze tuition at Minnesota’s colleges and universities.
  • The Transportation Committee announced a bill that prioritizes better access to transit for Minnesotans who need to get to work, school, the doctor’s office, and engage in civic life. It will also fund investments for our roads and bridges. The American Society of Civil Engineers rated Minnesota’s roads as “D+” on their most recent infrastructure report card. Bridges received a “C” and transit was awarded a “C-.” Because of this, the average Minnesotan loses an average of $1,000 each year due to car repairs and lost time. Unless we make these investments, it will only get worse.
Constituents at the Capitol 
I never know when I’ll run into fellow Sibley graduates! I got a tour of Inver Hills Community College from a former Sibley student. The college has community gardening plots available for students.


This week, I connected with retired teachers. We discussed discipline disparities, preschool suspensions, fully funding schools, and increasing the number of indigenous and teachers of color.


The Building Trades spend a day at the Capitol fighting for fair wages, safety on the job, and worker protections.


I got to meet with Mayor George Tourville of Inver Grove Heights during the Minnesota Association for Career and Technical Administrators during their day at the Capitol.


The little ones pictured here each decorated one of the flower petals and delivered this beautiful art to me to share their love of Early Childhood Family Education programs. Investing in our little ones and supporting families is vital to ensuring our children are nurtured to reach their full potential.


Finally, I got the chance to meet with Xcel constituents on energy, equity, and education issues.

I hope you have a great weekend. If I can ever assist you please don’t hesitate to reach out by email at or phone at 651-296-4192.
Ruth Richardson