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Minnesota Legislature

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

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End of Session Update

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

 

Neighbors,

It’s an honor to represent you in the Minnesota House of Representatives. In one of the only divided legislatures in the country, we completed our budget on May 25th having worked together to find common ground on a budget that will benefit all Minnesotans. I’m proud of the bipartisan solutions we came up with. I look forward to continuing to work together to make our state a better place to live, work and raise a family.

Here are some additional highlights that I'm particularly proud of. 

Working together to build stronger communities
This session, I worked hard to protect Minnesotans’ health care access, improve transparency and accountability in the health care industry, fully fund education, invest in our roads and bridges, and make our communities safer.

Working with my colleagues, I was also able to pass my bills to: 

  • Secure funding for suicide prevention training for teachers so they can effectively engage with students in crisis - suicide is the leading cause of death for youth between the ages of 10 and 17. 
  • Save local taxpayers money by securing tax exemptions for the construction of the Mendota Heights Fire Station, the Inver Grove Heights Fire Station, and the Dakota County Law Enforcement Smart Center. 
  • Create an Energy Utility Diversity Report, requiring public utilities to convene a workgroup to increase workforce and supplier diversity in energy. 
  • Increase funding for the Commission of the Deaf, Deaf Blind, and Hard of Hearing 
  • Funding to the YWCA to create employment pathways for early childhood educators
  • Expand funding for the Homeless Youth Act and improve the quality of life and resources for homeless youth. 
  • Reduce Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders by supporting people that are pregnant and parenting with a history of addiction. 
  • Expand an Inver Grove Heights road project to Highway 26 and Trunk Highway 3. 

I attended a planning meeting on equity and workforce diversity. There is a tremendous opportunity to diversify the energy sector. 

As a caucus, we were able to: 

  • Strengthen funding for schools and protect Pre-K classes 
  • Protect access to affordable health care for 1.2 million Minnesotans
  • Enact the nation's toughest wage theft prevention and enforcement law
  • Help ensure students can afford Minnesota's public colleges and universities
  • Hold pharmaceutical companies accountable for the opioid epidemic by requiring them to contribute to a solution for the crisis they profited from
  • Invest in bringing broadband access to every corner of the state
  • Provide for elder abuse prevention in assisted living facilities, with enforceable safeguards for residents
  • Address Chronic Wasting Disease 
  • Double the standard deduction to $24,000, which will simplify the tax process and result in a 7% tax cut for the median family income


It was an honor to meet with Minnesota’s 2019 Teacher of the Year. I’m humbled by the work she and so many teachers around our state do every day to prepare the next generation for the challenges of the future.  

We still have work to do, but the budget we passed this session is a good start to improving the lives of Minnesotans. It's been an honor to serve you and bring your priorities to the Capitol, and I hope you'll continue to stay in touch. 

Sincerely,

Ruth Richardson
State Representative - District 52B