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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Kaohly Her (DFL)

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Legislative Update: First Week of Session

Friday, February 14, 2020

Rep. Her

Dear neighbor,

The first week of session was a whirlwind! There is something special about the first day of session. Stepping on to the House Floor, sitting in silence as the clergy prays, reciting the pledge of allegiance in unison, and pressing the 'yes’ button for roll call - it is a reminder of what a privilege it is to bring our community's hopes, goals, and challenges to our Capitol so together we can turn that into progress. 

The week started with passionate rallying of people who want to reduce gun violence, with fierce advocates pushing for equal rights, and with a legislative body filled with people fighting for all Minnesotans.

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Last year, the Minnesota House DFL put forward a bold, progressive agenda to build a Minnesota that works better for all of us. While some bipartisan progress was made to enact wage theft protections, invest in our schools, and protect affordable health care access for more than one million Minnesotans, we have a lot of work left to do to ensure our state works for everyone. 

We are working to pass long-overdue legislation to:

  • Provide emergency insulin access and reduce the price of prescription drugs 
  • Eliminate education opportunity gaps and invest in early childhood education
  • Provide paid family & medical leave and earned safe & sick time to all Minnesotans
  • Deliver investments in communities across the state through local jobs & projects
  • And our new Climate Action Caucus is working on a plan to improve our clean energy economy and protect our natural resources

A great start for all children

On Thursday my colleagues and I unveiled one of our core priorities, a new plan to close opportunity gaps and invest in early care and learning. Minnesota has some of the highest daycare costs in the country - parents are paying as much as college tuition for their children while providers can barely make ends meet. Investing in early care and learning will help our economy by ensuring parents can work, businesses can hire, and communities can thrive. 

Early Childhood Investment

Ending Child Marriage

On Thursday, I had the chance to speak in support of my bill, which the House passed unanimously, to end child marriage. Last year, the Senate never gave my bill consideration, but we cannot allow the exploitation of our most vulnerable Minnesotans to continue. Not only does child marriage cut childhoods short, but it puts minors at higher risk of abuse, poverty, and life-long physical and mental health challenges. I was proud to stand with Sen. Sandy Pappas and survivors of child marriage to call for an end to this practice. 

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Community Highlights

Thank you Violence Free of Minnesota for hosting the annual memorial for victims of relationship abuse. In 2019, 20 people were killed by their partners. In three decades, at least 685 people were killed due to relationship abuse. The youngest victim was 22 weeks old and the oldest was 88. We need to do more so that one day we all can live violence free lives.

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A thank you as well to Sierra Club for hosting the Representative House Party. It was a wonderful opportunity to share all the work Rep. Pinto and I are either working on or support as it relates to the environment. We look forward to seeing the Sierra Club’s full legislative agenda.

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I hope you have a wonderful (and warm) weekend! 

Sincerely,

Rep. Kaohly Her