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

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Legislative Update - April 26, 2019

Friday, April 26, 2019


We're now on the House Floor practically non-stop, working to pass budget bills for each of the committees. Here's a quick Capitol update from this week. If you're curious, you can always watch the floor action live here

The Minnesota House passed the E-12 education budget late Tuesday night. Under the bill, the Rosemount-Apple Valley - Eagan School district would receive $490 in additional funding per student. West St. Paul - Mendota heights - Eagan schools would receive approximately $591 in additional funding per student, and Inver Grove Heights $608 in additional per-pupil funding. Our students and teachers are one of Minnesota’s greatest strengths. We owe it to them to make these investments and ensure that every child in Minnesota, no matter where they live, can get off to a great start. 

The education budget bill:
  • Includes my provision to ban preschool suspensions
  • My bill to increase access to early childhood education for deaf and deaf-blind students 
  • Addresses Minnesota’s special education funding shortfall.
  • Protects access to Pre-K programs for 4,000 children.
  • Lets schools hire additional student support staff, such as licensed counselors, psychologists, social workers, and nurses

We have been working hard all week to build a stronger state for all Minnesotan families, but we had to take a moment to celebrate Rep. Alice Mann on her birthday!

I'm proud that our unemployment rates in Dakota and Scott Counties are, yet again, below the state and national average, and 3.5% and 3.4%, respectively, while the state average remains low at 4.1%. 
 For job seekers out there, all 3 CareerForce sites in the two counties host hiring events. They’re a great way for employers and job seekers to meet. 

Shakopee: Derek Pederson -
  • Events are held every Thursday from 10 a.m. to noon.
  • Staff from a Distribution Center located in the Scott County area attended the April 4th event; they have since hired four job seekers, with whom they connected at the event, as full-time Production 1 Workers.
  • Representatives from a local hotel attended the weekly on-site hiring event on March 28th and hired two job seekers (on the spot) for full-time Hard Count and Room Attendant positions.

BurnsvilleVirginia Becker -
  • The May 1st hiring event will be focused on MANUFACTURING. More details to come!
West St. PaulLisa Odland -

Met Council Representatives for our District, Chai Lee and Phillip Sterner, met with me to discuss their work in the intersections of the Council’s many responsibilities; for example, how the region balances environmental concerns with the need to house people and provide a robust transportation system. 

I was proud to vote for the Health and Human Services budget late last night. It strengthens health care for all Minnesotans by lowering the cost of care, making drug prices more affordable by holding Big Pharma accountable, addressing health disparities, improving health care for women, and expanding coverage options for Minnesotans.

It includes my bills to support women who are pregnant and parenting with substance use disorders, and my bill to create a grant program for shelter-linked youth mental health. It also added additional funding to support homeless youth through the Homeless Youth Act. 

Advocates for affordable health care handed out hundreds of pill bottles that contained the stories of Minnesotans who couldn't afford their health care and needed medication. 

I have worked to support and mentor a number of youth with and without disabilities over the years. It’s always a joy when self-advocates show up and speak up on the issues that impact their lives. yesterday we talked about the harmful practice of conversion therapy and Logan’s Law

The taxes bill would increase taxes on corporations' foreign profits, to allow for tax cuts for working families. The bill includes several bills of mine which would:

  • Provide a sales and use tax exemption for the construction of the Mendota Heights Fire Station
  • Sales and use exemption for the construction of the Inver Grove Heights Fire Station 
  • Sales and use exemption for the law enforcement SMART Center in Dakota County

Each of these provisions will save taxpayers money. 

The Energy bill includes my bills to create a workgroup and incentivize utilities to increase diversity in the workplace and actual spending for female-owned, minority-owned, veteran-owned and small business enterprises. We all know that energy is important to the world, to our country, and our state. It is one of the key industries impacting economic development. Starting the conversation about encouraging a diverse workforce is about creating an equitable and healthy energy sector that benefits all communities in Minnesota. 

Quick constituent meeting before heading back to the House floor! 

So proud to be at the Capitol serving you.

It is an honor to serve you. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments for me, at any time! 


Ruth Richardson
State Representative - District 52B