The year and decade are coming to a close, and so is my first year having the privilege of serving as your state representative. Here are some of the accomplishments of the past year and goals we have for 2020.
This year’s bipartisan budget agreement preserved funding for health care for 1.2 million Minnesotans. It increased funding for schools and contained the strongest wage theft law in the country to ensure Minnesotans receive the wages and benefits they have earned.
We passed bills in the House to provide paid family and medical leave and earned sick and safe time so all Minnesotans can take time off from work to care for themselves or their family members without facing financial hardship. We will continue to work to achieve paid family leave and earned sick and safe time for Minnesotan families.
We passed bills in the House to make our health care more affordable — with a focus on lowering the costs of prescription drugs and establishing a public option for health care. We will continue to prioritize making affordable health care a reality.
We passed proposals to increase access to affordable child care and housing.
I worked hard to pass common sense gun legislation supported by as many as 90 percent of Minnesotans. “Red flag” laws and expanded criminal background checks for firearm purchases will save lives and I will continue to advocate for these.
I am also proud of the bills I brought forward and passed into law, including my legislation to expand funding for the homeless youth act, to increase workforce diversity in energy for women, veterans, people of color, and small businesses, and tax exemptions for the Inver Grove Heights Fire Department, the Mendota Heights Fire Department, and the Dakota County Safety and Mental Health Alternative Response Training Center to save our city and county tax payers' money.
Those are just a few of the highlights, and I know we have more to do. We have work to do to address education and health disparities, to prevent suicides, protect public safety, ensure our roads are safe, and make Minnesota a more equitable state where everyone has the opportunity to prosper. I am committed to continuing to work to address these issues in 2020.
No matter how you're celebrating, I wish you and your family warm holiday wishes.
Rep. Ruth Richardson