Rep. Melissa Hortman Update: March 8, 2017

Rep. Melissa Hortman (36B) – Legislative Update

Dear Neighbors,

This Friday marks the first House committee deadline. This means that any bill including policy changes must be heard in committee by Friday in order to move forward in the legislative process. Committees are meeting around the clock in order to finish their work.

February Forecast

Last week, Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) announced a forecasted budget surplus of $1.65 billion, which is $250 million higher than previous estimates. Minnesota continues to have low unemployment and a stable budget, however MMB warned that uncertainty at the federal level could change that.

The budget surplus is an opportunity to reinvest in every Minnesotan in all corners of the state. Our priority should be strengthening what has made Minnesota’s economy strong—our quality public schools, access to affordable higher education and job training, and the ability for all Minnesotans to get good jobs and good benefits like paid leave and earned sick time. With this opportunity also comes the responsibility to budget wisely, and this will be my focus.

Anti-worker legislation

On Thursday, the Minnesota House passed HF 600, which would preempt local governments from setting workplace policies. If enacted, this would prevent local communities from setting pro-worker policies such as earned sick leave, paid family leave, fair scheduling, and a higher minimum wage, among others. The bill would also roll back earned sick time for 150,000 Minnesotans, and prevent future wage and benefit increases in communities across the state.

Committee hearings on HF 600 drew strong criticism from a broad variety of Minnesotans including nurses, faith leaders, labor leaders, city officials, neighborhood groups, and workers. The bill passed 76-53. A similar measure is being heard in the Senate.

Community Dental Fair

You’re invited to the first annual Community Dental Health Fair on Friday, March 10, 2017 from 11:00am to 1:30pm at the Northwest Family Service Center (7051 Brooklyn Blvd, Brooklyn Center).

Dental services will be available for ages birth to 26 years and pregnant women. For more information and to make an appointment call 612-746-1530. Walk-ins are welcome.

Free health screenings will also be available for adults age 18 and older, including blood pressure, BMI, glucose, and cholesterol.  There will be free resources, giveaways, and door prizes. Please share this information with anyone who you think would benefit.         

As always, please contact me anytime with questions and comments. I appreciate hearing from you!


Melissa Hortman