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

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Legislative Update - May 10, 2019

Friday, May 10, 2019

Neighbors,

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week! It's a time to thank and appreciate the educators who mentor, teach, and support our students both in and out of the classroom. We're now meeting with the Senate to work out the differences between our budget, and theirs. Here are the stark differences between our education plans. 

 

 

These graphs are a reflection of the most recent House and Senate education budgets. Our budget was inspired by the teachers, students, parents, and administrators who have spoken out at the legislature about the need for more school funding. There was an error in last week's update - these are the proposed funding levels for the school districts in our community. 

Environment
I've been keeping tabs on the Environmental and Natural Resources Conference Committee. There was testimony this morning on the need to address Chronic Wasting Disease. The House environment budget funds innovative research that would aid conservation efforts to protect our environment and wildlife for future generations. 

Our plan will enhance soil health statewide and plant nearly a million trees each year. It also increases support for pollinators by establishing a program to help homeowners who want to convert their lawns to a pollinator-friendly habitat.

Jobs and Energy
We need to be intentional and strategic in engaging more small and emerging businesses in our economy's move toward more clean forms of energy. 

I presented a bill to the Jobs and Energy conference committee that would require utilities to develop recommendations to improve supplier diversity outreach and engagement with small businesses and minority, women, and veteran-owned businesses. The bill would also require similar recommendations for workforce opportunities for our returning veterans, people of color, women, and people with disabilities. I'm excited that my bill was accepted by the House and Senate members.
 

Providing testimony for the jobs/energy conference committee

Equal Rights Amendment
Today we voted on, and passed, a resolution memorializing Congress to remove the deadline for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. The Amendment would add gender equality to our Constitution, and affirm our fundamental values of fairness. Women have faced historic and current barriers in achieving equal pay, reproductive choice, and access to economic independence. I'm a proud co-author of the bill and hope our Senate colleagues will consider it. 

 

Constituent Shout-Out 


Meeting with the Minnesota Valley Transit Authority where we discussed the importance of public and private partnership to improve transit opportunities in our district.


I always enjoy connecting with constituents and hearing directly from them how proposed legislation impacts their families.

Keeping up with the Health and Human Services Conference Committee progress. Nurses Week (and every week), is an opportunity to stand with our nurses and all health care professionals who care for Minnesotans.


Congratulations to Khadija (middle) for being named to serve as the Henry Sibley High School student school board representative for next year! She’s an amazing student leader and I know she will work hard to amplify the voices of her peers.


Meeting with a few constituents who came to the Capitol to advocate for our community.


Announcements
There are two upcoming opportunities for you to weigh in on issues facing our community: 
  • Mendota Heights City Hall is hosting a city council workshop on Tuesday, May 14 at 1:00 pm to discuss the Village lots escrow, self storage, and 2019-20 goals and objectives.
  • There will also workshop on Thursday, May 16 at  Mendota Heights City Hall at 5:00pm, to review the 2040 Comprehensive plan. 
Thanks for reading - please reach out with your comments and suggestions as the session winds down. Have a great weekend!

Sincerely,

Ruth Richardson
State Representative - District 52B