Rep. Debra Hilstrom Update: March 24, 2017

Rep. Debra Hilstrom (40B) – Legislative Update

Dear Neighbors,

The Star Tribune published a commentary I authored with Sen. Chris Eaton, Sen. Julie Rosen and Rep. Dave Baker on the bipartisan efforts to address the opioid epidemic. Our bills, referred to as the Opioid Reform Act, will specifically address the over prescription of pain medication in Minnesota.

Attorney General Lori Swanson and Anoka County Attorney Tony Palumbo have done tremendous work to provide resources to schools, health care professionals, and others in our local communities to combat this problem. They have started a program called “Dose of Reality,” and I encourage you to visit their website. (more…)

Read More

Rep. Mike Nelson Update: March 22, 2017

Rep. Michael V. Nelson (40A) – Legislative Update

Neighbors and Friends,

I am co-hosting a town hall with Rep. Debra Hilstrom and Senator Chris Eaton on Saturday morning, April 1st at 10:00 a.m. at the Brooklyn Center Community Center in the Cohen Room. These are great events for me to hear directly from you about your concerns and I hope you can attend. Your input is valuable to me. Here are the full details. 

(more…)

Read More

Rep. Debra Hilstrom Update: March 17, 2017

Rep. Debra Hilstrom (40B) – Legislative Update

Dear Neighbors,

Along with Rep. Michael Nelson and Sen. Chris Eaton, I invite you to join us for a Town Hall Meeting to share your input about issues at the State Capitol. We will meet Saturday morning, April 1 at 10:00 a.m. at the Brooklyn Center Community Center in the Cohen Room.

These meetings provide a valuable forum for me to hear directly from community members about your priorities, and I hope folks will attend and make their voices heard. With the legislative session about to enter its final weeks with major decisions on the budget forthcoming, I’m looking to get a great deal of input on these major issues. (more…)

Read More

Rep. Debra Hilstrom Update: March 10, 2017

Rep. Debra Hilstrom (40B) – Legislative Update

Dear Neighbors,

This week I had the opportunity to meet with corrections officers from around the state who came to the State Capitol to share their priorities. These Minnesotans work hard in some extremely challenging conditions, and we should work to enhance protections not just for them, but for the offenders they are responsible for supervising.

Outside of their actual working conditions, these folks remain concerned about the potential reopening of a private prison in Minnesota. I’ve introduced a bill this session to ban the state from contracting with such a facility. Private prisons produce poor outcomes when it comes to recidivism and rehabilitation of offenders. The ability to put citizens behind bars is a power that we should take seriously as a state government, and not outsource to corporations motivated by profit.

Committee Deadlines

Tonight at midnight is the first committee deadline. This deadline, the first of three, is for committees to approve bills in their house of origin. The second deadline, a week from today, is for committees to act on bills, or companions of bills, that met the first deadline. The third and final deadline is on March 31, and is for committees to act on major budget bills. (more…)

Read More

Rep. Debra Hilstrom Update: March 3, 2017

Rep. Debra Hilstrom (40B) – Legislative Update

Dear Neighbors,

Wednesday night I spoke with students and faculty at the University of Minnesota as part of the Summit on College Affordability. Tuition hikes in recent years at the University have been difficult on students. Inadequate state investments in higher education over the last decade and a half have led to a staggering 177 percent increase at the University of Minnesota between 2000 and 2011. 2013 and 2014 the state implemented a two year freeze on undergraduate resident tuition at the U of M and Minnesota State campuses. However with record tuition increases students have record debt. We must commit to making college more affordable and reducing student debt burdens if we want to have a world class work force and enable the next generation to succeed.

The Minnesota Daily covered the event, and you can read their story here. (more…)

Read More

Rep. Mike Nelson Update: March 1, 2017

Rep. Michael V. Nelson (40A) – Legislative Update

Dear Neighbor,

Yesterday, Minnesota Management and Budget announced that we have a forecasted budget surplus of $1.65 billion. The February Economic Forecast revealed that Minnesota continues to have low unemployment and a stable budget.

While Minnesota’s economy is performing well, we should always be looking for ways to improve. This surplus is an opportunity to reinvest in all Minnesotans in every corner of the state – through strong public schools, affordable college and job training, and access to good jobs and good benefits like paid leave and earned sick time across the whole state. (more…)

Read More

Rep. Hilstrom Update: February 23, 2017

Dear Neighbors,

Earlier this week, a bipartisan group of legislators, Attorney General Lori Swanson, Lt. Gov. Tina Smith, members of law enforcement, medical professionals, and advocates came together for the first ever “Opioid Awareness Day on the Hill.” Since 2000, annual deaths due to opioid overdoses have increased in Minnesota 432 percent. This is a problem reaching every corner of the state, and no demographic group is immune from its effects.

A series of bills have been introduced to expand Minnesota’s prescription monitoring program to flag potential abuse, limit prescriptions for opioid drugs to 30 days, expand treatment for dependency, and expand public awareness, among other things. Fighting this crisis will take nothing less than a coordinated effort from policymakers, the pharmaceutical industry, doctors, and law enforcement. (more…)

Read More

Rep. Mike Nelson Update: February 16, 2017

Rep. Michael V. Nelson (40A) – Legislative Update

Dear neighbors,

There has been a lot of news coming out of St. Paul this week. Recently, House Republicans are pushing sweeping overhauls to the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA) to distract from their other destructive policies. Let me be clear, commissioners at the MSFA should not have used these tickets for their personal use and the chair and executive director have resigned surrounding the issue.  (more…)

Read More

Rep. Hilstrom Update: February 15, 2017

Rep. Debra Hilstrom (40B) – Legislative Update

Dear Neighbors,

One of our greatest responsibilities as a legislature is to take care of the veterans who have served us so honorably. After their service concludes, many of them face a variety of challenges with regards to housing, health care, employment, and others. We can certainly take greater steps to assist these men and women with these challenges, and I’ve introduced legislation to do this. Earlier this week in the House Veterans Affairs Division, I had two of these bills considered. (more…)

Read More