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

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Legislative Update

Thursday, March 05, 2020

Rep. Xiong

Dear neighbors,

It's been a busy couple of weeks at the Capitol! We passed several important bills focused on insulin and gun violence prevention that will now go on to the Senate. More on that below, as well as some helpful information on the Coronavirus. 

Holding Insulin Manufacturers Accountable

We need to hold insulin manufacturers accountable for the outrageous, skyrocketing price of the drug that thousands of Minnesotans need to survive. One in four diabetics report rationing their insulin because of the cost, which puts lives in danger. 

The bill the House passed meets the goals of ensuring Minnesotans have emergency access to insulin and access to affordable insulin over the long-term. It holds pharmaceutical companies accountable by requiring them to participate in funding the program, and it can be set up quickly. Now the bill goes to the Republican-led Senate. 

Insulin Cost Graph

Paid Family Leave 

Minnesotans have been clear that when they need to take time off work, too often it's just not an option. When Minnesotans need to care for a new baby, an aging parent, or themselves, they can't take time off because it would mean missing a paycheck. Concerns about the coronavirus have only brought that into focus for many families. Today, the House is voting on our bill to provide paid family leave to all Minnesotans who need to take time off to care for themselves or a loved one. 

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Gun Violence Prevention

Last week, we voted on two gun violence prevention measures: a Red Flag bill and universal background checks. It’s time we do something about America’s epidemic of senseless gun violence and mass shootings. Both of these laws are working well in many other (both red and blue) states and are supported by law enforcement, health professionals, and the vast majority of the public.

Minnesotans have been loud and clear that they want us to take action to address senseless gun violence. Senate Republicans should listen to Minnesotans and join the DFL-led House in supporting common-sense gun violence prevention measures. 

Questions about Coronavirus

Everyone seems to be talking about Coronavirus, or COVID-19, the respiratory disease that has now been detected in 50 locations internationally, including cases in the United States. 

Reported illnesses have ranged from mild to severe symptoms, including fever, cough and shortness of breath. The CDC believes at this time that symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure. 

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. The CDC recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

For up to date information on COVID-19, please visit the Minnesota Department of Health’s website:  https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/index.html

And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

If you have any questions about the virus, please feel free to reach out to my office at rep.tou.xiong@house.mn or 651-296-7807. 

Keep your comments, questions and concerns coming! I always enjoy hearing from you. 

Sincerely,

Rep. Tou Xiong 

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