Rep. Peggy Flanagan (46A) – Legislative Update
This week our budget work begins in earnest, as we have just received the updated budget forecast. Thanks to the leadership of Gov. Dayton, we are no longer running a budget deficit. In fact, we now have a projected $1.65 billion surplus. What we do with that money should reflect the needs and values of Minnesotans.
Here are a few other things to know this week:
REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS FOR WOMEN
In Health and Human Services Reform committee, we heard two bills that would undermine women’s reproductive rights in Minnesota.
HF 809 would limit low-income women’s ability to access reproductive health care by prohibiting the use of plans like Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare to terminate a pregnancy.
HF 812 would impose strict regulations on abortion clinics in an attempt to shutter many of Minnesota’s health facilities overnight – a tactic the Supreme Court has ruled is unconstitutional.
Unfortunately, both passed out of committee and will likely go to a full floor vote. But I will always stand up for a woman’s right to choose when to have a child.
EARNED SICK LEAVE FOR MINNESOTANS
Last week, after a principled stand by many DFL members, the House of Representatives passed HF 600. This so-called “preemption” bill would strip over 150,000 workers of their paid sick leave in the metro area and prevent any city from raising its minimum wage in the future.
Unsurprisingly, these workers that do not have access to paid leave through their employers already tend to be in low-paying jobs and are disproportionately people of color.
The State Senate will soon take up the same proposal, and I hope they decide not to allow this to move forward.
We’ve received word that the full Minnesota House of Representatives will soon take up HF 390 and HF 1066, two bills designed to punish protesters who are marching for justice in Minnesota.
Not only would these bills cause a chilling effect on peaceful assembly, but the increased penalties would also further contribute to mass incarceration. I’m opposed to both of these pieces of legislation, and I will be voting no when it comes before the House.
Following the outstanding turnout at our town hall earlier this year, we have planned two more listening sessions to talk about issues important to you:
St. Louis Park City Hall
Tuesday March 14th
6 pm to 7:30 pm in the Community Room
Hennepin County Library Golden Valley
Sunday April 9th
12:30 pm to 2 pm
I hope to see you there!
Rep. Peggy Flanagan