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Legislative News and Views - Rep. John Huot (DFL)

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Legislative Update- Session Recap

Friday, May 31, 2019
Dear Neighbors,
I hope you had a great Memorial Day Weekend. As we honor our fallen soldiers, it’s important to acknowledge that they deserve our continued support, respect, and gratitude. While recognizing the variety of challenges they face, we have a responsibility to ensure that when Minnesota veterans return home, they can reintegrate to their families and their communities.
It was an honor to participate in the memorial services at both the Apple Valley and Rosemount American Legions.
We wrapped up the session on Saturday morning after reaching agreement with the Senate on a 2-year state budget. Minnesotans rightfully expect the legislature to compromise and get the work done, and I’m glad we were able to deliver on this. I’m proud we found common ground on a budget that protects access to affordable health care for over a million Minnesotans, makes robust investments in our students, delivers targeted tax cuts to middle class families, and includes the strongest wage theft protections for workers in the country.

Legislation I’ve Sponsored

Several bills that I’ve sponsored were included in budget proposals and approved by the House. While a few of them were taken out during negotiations with the Senate, others made it into the compromise budget and are expected to be signed into law soon. Here’s an update on some of that legislation:

Honoring our Fallen Soldiers

This bill would establish a Capitol flag program for families of military service members and first responders who have died in the line of duty. Currently, family members of fallen soldiers must request the Minnesota or American flag that is flown over the Capitol. My bill would deliver the flag to eligible family members, free of charge. Unfortunately the legislation was not included in the final budget, but I’ll continue to advocate for it.
After years of work, the Dennis A. Groth Memorial Bridge has finally been passed into law. This bridge is marked at U.S. Highway 52 over Dakota County State-Aid Highway 42, known as 145th Street, within the city of Rosemount. It is designated as "Warrant Officer Dennis A. Groth Memorial Bridge."

Supporting our Students

This legislation would enable school districts to hire additional school support services personnel including licensed school counselors, school psychologists, school social workers, school nurses, and chemical dependency counselors. Although this bill was not incorporated into the final education budget, safe school supplement aid was included. I’ll keep working on this important bill moving forward.
When someone has experienced trauma, their ability to learn, achieve, and succeed are put at risk, and our budget addresses this. My legislation, which would require colleges to notify victims of sexual assault that legal advocacy services are available to them, was included in the final budget.

Equalizing the Quality of Education

This bill was included in the final education budget and would increase the operating referendum equalization aid, which is designed to provide districts with more help on the per-pupil levy. The quality of our schools should not depend on the zip code you live in and all children deserve a world-class education. The bottom line is that this proposal is a win for schools and will help hold down property taxes.

Keeping the Minnesota Zoo a Local and Regional Gem

I sponsored legislation that was included in the final budget to dedicate more funding for long overdue improvements to the Minnesota Zoo.

Focusing on the Future

Minnesota is one of the only divided legislatures in the country, and our final budget agreement is a significant bipartisan compromise to help improve the lives of Minnesotans.
This is the first step on a much longer road toward a more prosperous, more equal state. The House DFL will continue working to prioritize proposals such as emergency insulin affordability and accessibility, sustainable and long-term funding for our transportation infrastructure, paid family and medical leave, gun violence prevention, clean energy initiatives, and a fair tax structure that has corporations paying their fair share to prevent corporate tax avoidance.

Keep in Touch

The legislative session is finished, but my work for our community continues. Please contact me if I can help provide any assistance to you and your family, or if you would like to share your input on priorities to address in the coming year.
It’s an honor to represent you in St. Paul.