House DFL unveils priorities for legislative session

January 09, 2019 06:43 PM

Having assumed control of the Minnesota House, DFL leaders and legislators Wednesday unveiled what they call the "Minnesota Values Agenda."

The 10 bills are based in part on a plan released last September, prior to the DFL regaining control of the chamber in November's election.


"In 2017, House DFLers traveled the state to listen to Minnesotans and have conversations about our shared values," read a release announcing the unveiling. "Legislators continued those conversations with community members and organizations, shaping part of the agenda for the 2019 Legislative Session."

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The 10 bills are as follows:

"The Great Start for All Minnesota Children Act," authored by Rep. Carlie Kotyza Witthuhn, "K-12 Student Support Legislation," authored by Rep. Heather Edelson, "More affordable health care through a MinnesotaCare Buy-In," authored by Rep. Tina Liebling, "Preventing prescription drug price gouging and holding pharmaceutical companies accountable," authored by Rep. John Lesch, "Paid Family & Medical Leave and Earned Sick & Safe Time," authored by Rep. Laurie Halverson, "Wage Theft prevention and enforcement," authored by Rep. Tim Mahoney, "Rural broadband expansion," authored by Rep. Rob Ecklund, "Keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous people through criminal background checks," authored by Rep. Dave Pinto, "Preventing gun violence through Extreme Risk Protection Orders," authored Rep. Ruth Richardson, and "Protecting Minnesotans from sexual harassment," authored by Rep. Kelly Moller.

The release said addressing the opioid crisis, protecting seniors in nursing homes and assisted living facilities and investing in infrastructure will be key areas of focus this legislative session, and that increasing funding for public education is a top priority.

The DFL now controls the House and the governor's office while Republicans still control the Senate.

"We look forward to working with Governor (Tim) Walz and Lieutenant Governor (Peggy) Flanagan on our shared One Minnesota vision," House Speaker Melissa Hortman said in a statement. "Minnesota is a strong state, but we know it can be even better, and our state's prosperity can and should reach more Minnesotans."

House Republican Leader Kurt Daudt said his party will continue to push for lower taxes this session.

"Democrats said today it was 'essential' to raise health care taxes," a statement read. "House Republicans couldn't disagree more. Our priority will be to lower taxes and health care costs for Minnesota families." 


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Frank Rajkowski

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