Minnesota House Democrats said they will once again prioritize gun control and climate change during the upcoming legislative session.
House Speaker Melissa Hortman (DFL-Brooklyn Park), Majority Leader Ryan Winkler (DFL-Golden Valley), and several top committee chairs called a press conference Thursday to unveil their “2020 Minnesota Values Plan.”
“The Minnesota House DFL remains committed to building a better future for all Minnesotans,” said Hortman. “While we made some bipartisan progress last year, Senate Republicans blocked action on the issues most important to Minnesotans. House DFLers believe that all Minnesotans deserve a world-class education, affordable health care, economic security, and safe and inclusive communities. We will continue our efforts to make this better future a reality for all Minnesotans.”
The House DFL’s priorities for the 2020 session broadly include education funding, affordable health care, economic security, and safe and inclusive environments, according to a press release. More specifically, Hortman said her caucus will introduce a “very ambitious proposal” on early childhood education that will include early learning scholarships, child care assistance for low-income families, and increased support for child care providers.
Democrats also plan to push for paid family and medical leave for all Minnesotans, and legislation to provide affordable insulin.
“House DFLers led the way last year with a bold, progressive agenda that sets a marker for the future,” said Winkler. “Last year’s budget was just a first step on a much longer road to a better state. We will continue working to advance an ambitious agenda that will improve the lives of all Minnesotans.”
House Democrats will renew their efforts to pass gun control measures, including an expanded background checks bill and a red-flag law. They also plan to pass a “100 percent clean energy standard” proposal—all policies that are bound to fail in the Republican-controlled Senate.
Meanwhile, Winkler has been leading the charge to legalize marijuana in the state and held a press conference earlier this week to discuss the initiative.
Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-Nisswa) said bills that don’t have “broad bipartisan agreement” won’t be successful this session.
“Where we agree, Senate Republicans will move bills forward,” he said in a statement. “Minnesotans want government to work well and with bipartisan cooperation. That doesn’t include spending every penny of the surplus, borrowing to the brink, or massive new programs like mandatory paid leave.”
The 2020 legislative session will begin February 11.
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