Updates to MN Action Alert for Week of March 20

From Watch Your Reps MN:


Omnibus bill section added
HF5/SF720 (reinsurance bill) conference committee information added
HF1148 – MNSure bil added to hearing on Thursday
This post contains a “Top Hits” list. These are the bills that have hearings scheduled or are going to the house or senate floor for a vote. “HF” means House File and “SF” means Senate File.

Once you are done with the “Top Hits” you may want to peruse the full list of bills to support and oppose.

You can find the full text of bills by going to https://www.leg.state.mn.us/, selecting Bills, then searching the House and Senate bills by the listed bill number. You can find your representative and senator at the Minnesota Legislature District Finder.

So, without further ado, this is what you should be talking to your legislators about this week.

What to do:
For each alert check the member list. If your representative is on the list, please reach out to them. If not, reach out to the chair. If your rep is one of the authors, reach out to them and let them know how you feel about their bill (good or bad). If the status of a bill says it’s going to the house/senate for a vote call your representative/senator. You don’t need to go into detail, you can simply state that you oppose / support the bill.

Passed Both Chambers of Congress

HF5/SF720 has passed both the house and the senate. Will likely go to a conference committee before going to the governor, but start calling him now. This bill creates a state reinsurance program (this is where you basically insure the insurance companies to create a larger risk pool). The concept is novel for trying to stabilize an insurance market, so there is limited data on effectiveness and the current bill takes the money for this from MinnesotaCare to the tune of about $600 million
Conference committee for this bill has been selected. If your rep/senator is on the committee please call and tell them this cannot be funded by taking money away from MinnesotaCare. If your rep/senator is not on the committee, call them anyway and ask them to oppose this bill if it gets funding from MinnesotaCare.
House Conference Members: Davids, Hoppe, Dean, Schomacker, Halversion
Senate Conference Members: Dahms, Benson, Kiffmeyer, Abeler, Lourey

Omnibus Bills

Dozens of omnibus bills have been introduced in the house and the senate. These bills change frequently and language is rarely posted with much notice before a hearing. As I learn about issues I’ll update this section.
SF514 – Elections Omnibus Bill. This bill contains two bad clauses. One will create a provisional ballot system in Minnesota. Since we have same day voter registration we are exempt from having a provisional ballot system. Instead of resolving voter issues on election day, voters will instead have to cast provisional ballots that may or may not be counted. This is unnecessary. The second clause would make election judge party affiliation public information. This role is non-partisan and this appears to be a change that would allow judicial decisions to be called into question for political gain.

Hearing: Not Scheduled. One was set for the 27th but has been cancelled. Will probably be heard sometime next week.
Committee: State Government Finance and Policy and Elections
Chair: Mary Kiffmeyer
Mark Koran, Jim Carlson, John Jasinski, Carla Nelson Torrey Westrom, Susan Kent, Scott Newman, Carolyn Laine, Ann Rest
HF895 – Agriculture Finance Omnibus Bill. This bill used to contain language to protect pollinators from various pesticides that have been implicated in large bee colony die-offs. That language has been removed. This article from Bluestem Prairie goes into details. Please let the committee members know you are upset this language was removed from the bill.
Hearing Date: Friday, March 24 @ 9am
Committee: Agriculture Finance
Chair: Rob Hamilton
Tim Miller, Jeanne Poppe, Paul Anderson, Cal Bahr, David Bly, Karen Clark, Rob Ecklund, Steve Green, Rick Hansen, Clark Johnson, Tony Jurgens, Debra Kiel, Ben Lien, Tim Mahoney, Nels Pierson, John Poston, Joe Schomacker, Dean Urdahl

Votes in the House

The following bills have cleared committee and, while they have not been schedule for a full vote yet, they could be voted on at any time. Please call your district representative.
HF390 – Another anti-protestor bill. This one would increase penalties for obstructing traffic/transit to a misdemeanor with up to 3 years in prison.

HF1066 – Anti-protestor bill. Increase penalties for obstructing a road. These bills are specifically targeted against protests that use civil disobedience techniques

HF2058 – Makes it more expensive to build light-rail systems by removing eminent domain exceptions just for light-rail (not for any other types of transportation)

Votes in the Senate

The following bills have cleared committee and, while they have not been schedule for a full vote yet, they could be voted on at any time. In the Senate, a bill can be put on a “special order” list and voted on with almost no notice so please do not wait for a scheduled vote. Call your district senator.
SF580 – Anti-worker law that would prevent cities and localities from setting their own min wage, family leave policies, etc. This will undo the recent min wage increase approved in Minneapolis.
SF676 - Anti-protestor bill. This one would increase penalties for obstructing traffic/transit to a misdemeanor with up to 3 years in prison.
SF702 – Anti-abortion bill. This one would stop state-sponsored health programs from covering an abortion even if it is medically necessary (there’s no exceptions for health of the mother, health of the fetus, rape, or incest).
SF445 – Crisis response, conflict management, and diversity training required for all police officers

Hearings on Monday, March 20


HF1151 - Eliminates the "certificate of need" requirement to build oil and gas pipelines
Hearing Time: 10:00 am
Committee: Job Growth and Energy Affordability Policy and Finance
Chair: Pat Garofalo
Jim Newberger, Karen Clark, Tim Mahoney, Jean Wagenius, Paul Anderson, Cal Bahr, Dave Baker, Jim Davnie, Dan Fabian, Jeff Howe, Sandy Layman, Erin Maye Quade, Jason Metsa, Rena Moran, Anne Neu, Marion O’Neill, Jason Rarick, Peggy Scott, Mike Sundin, Paul Thissen, Bob Vogel, Nolan West
HF2412 – Removes the authority of cities to create special service districts (which are paid for by the businesses in those districts). Special services authorized in some city ordinances have included street and sidewalk cleaning, snow and ice removal, lighting, signage, parking, parking enforcement, marketing and promotion, landscaping, and security.  They may also include capital improvements authorized in the special assessment statute.
Hearing Time: 10:00 am
Committee: Property Tax and Local Government Finance Division
Chair: Steve Drazkowski
Jerry Hertaus, Diane Loeffler, Paul Anderson, Regina Barr, Andrew Carlson, Sondra Erickson, Keith Franke, Ben Lien, Bob Loonan, Paul Marquart, Michael Nelson, Anne Neu, Jason Rarick, Abigail Whelan, Cheryl Youakim

Hearings on Tuesday, March 21

SF256 – Scholarship program that uses public funds for charter schools
Hearing Time: 8:30 am
Committee: Taxes
Chair: Roger Chamberlain
David Senjem, Ann Rest, Paul Anderson, Melisa Franzen, Eric Pratt, Thomas Bakk, Paul Gazelka, Kari Dziedzic, Jeremy Miller
HF1433 – Allows legislators to block regulatory rules for vague reasons like "unduly burdensome" or because a rule is stricter than the federal one
Hearing Time: 10:15 am
Committee: Government Operations and Elections Policy
Chair: Tim O’Driscoll
Cindy Pugh, Michael Nelson, Matt Bliss, Kelly Fenton, Mike Freiberg, Laurie Halverson, Randy Jessup, Fue Lee, Sandra Masin, Jim Nash, Roz Peterson, Duane Quam, Julie Sandstede, Chris Swedzinski, Tama Theis, Nolan West, Cheryl Youakim

Hearings on Wednesday, March 22


HF10 – Transfers MNSure to federal marketplace. Since it likely the federal markeplace will be ended by the GOP this is a way to end MNSure without having to be on the record as voting to end it
Hearing Time: 1:00 pm
Committee: Health and Human Services Finance
Chair: Matt Dean
Tony Albright, Erin Murphy, Susan Allen, Jeff Backer, John Considine, Peter Fischer, Mary Franson, Glenn Gruenhagen, Barb Haley, Laurie Halverson, Rod Hamilton, Josh Heintzeman, Brian Johnson, Tina Liebline, Diane Loeffler, Kathy Lomer, Bob Loonan, Nels Pierson, Dave Pinto, Joe Schomacker, Jennifer Schultz, Nick Zerwas

Hearings on Thursday March 23


SF1148 - Transfers MNSure to federal marketplace. Since it likely the federal markeplace will be ended by the GOP this is a way to end MNSure without having to be on the record as voting to end it
Hearing Time: 3:00 pm
Committee: Health and Human Services Finance and Policy
Chair: Michelle Benson
Scott Jensen, Tony Lourey, Jim Abeler, Jeff Hayden, John Marty, Julie Rosen, Chris Eaton, Mary Kiffmeyer, Andrew Mathews, Melissa Wiklund, Michelle Fischbach, Matt Klein, Carla Nelson

Hearings on Friday March 24

Friday looks to be largely dominated by omnibus bill hearings. Little information is available on most of those bills.