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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Tou Xiong (DFL)

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Legislative Update - May 8, 2019

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Neighbors,
 

We've debated and passed all the major budgets off of the House Floor - now we meet with the Senate to iron out differences between our budgets and theirs. With two weeks left, we have a LOT of work to do. Here's an update. 

Health Care 
Health care costs and accessibility is something that has been on the top of the minds of so many people in Minnesota and in our community. This budget 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. 

Education
The House passed the E-12 education budget that was inspired by parents, students, teachers, staff, and administrators who have told legislators how budget cuts and growing class sizes have impacted the quality of instruction, support, and education in schools. 

Families in our community should know that when their child goes into the classroom, they are going to get the best education our teachers and our state can provide. All Minnesota students deserve a great education, no matter where they live. 

Transportation 
Our transportation budget makes responsible investments to fix our state's roads, bridges, and transit. 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-.”
The House DFL Majority’s transportation budget prioritizes better access to transit for Minnesotans who need to get to work, school, and to live their lives. All Minnesotans should feel safe on our roads and bridges - and pushing maintenance down the road by putting short-term band-aids on our transportation needs will only lead to more expensive damage to our cars and transit.

Environment
Our environment budget funds innovative research that would aid conservation efforts to protect our environment and wildlife for future generations. We need to protect the health and well being of our communities and the environment. 

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

Higher Education
We passed a higher education budget to freeze tuition at all of Minnesota's universities. All Minnesotans deserve the opportunity to get a quality higher education, and the training needed to get a good-paying job to support a family. Investing in higher education means investing in Minnesotans and the future of our state.


Hmong Veterans 
Last week the House unanimously passed my amendment to create a state holiday recognizing Hmong veterans who served in the U.S. Vietnam War. It falls upon my four colleagues of Hmong descent and me to do what we can to soothe the restless spirits of America's Secret War Veterans and their families, to give them a day of recognition for their suffering and their sacrifices. This amendment seeks to remind Americans and Minnesotans that the United States and this chamber is a country and legislative body that does not forget its friends, especially friends that fought alongside American soldiers for the values this great nation stands for.

 
Thanks for reading! I work for you, and always welcome your input on the work we do here at the Capitol. Reach me any time at rep.tou.xiong@house.mn and 651-296-7807. 

Sincerely,

Rep. Tou.Xiong