Happy spring, Minnesotans! You’ve probably been busy this week enjoying the sunshine (and maybe dodging a few potholes along the way), so we’ve got the scoop ready for you on what went down at the Capitol.
No surprise: Republicans are still leaving Minnesotans behind and standing in the way of important legislation that tackles the issues we care about most. Here are the worst moments of the week:
Failing to hold Big Pharma accountable
“I think the pharmaceutical industry is powerful enough that when they flex their muscles, they make it difficult for things to move forward”
That’s a direct quote from Republican senator–and doctor–Scott Jensen. He admits that the Big Pharma lobby has the Republican caucus in their pockets, and Minnesotans are suffering the consequences.
The Alec Smith Emergency Insulin Bill, named for a young Minnesotan who died from diabetic ketoacidosis when he couldn’t afford his insulin, would set up a life-saving emergency fund for Minnesotans with diabetes. Big Pharma lobbyists oppose the bill, so Senate Republicans continue to block it.
Republicans are also failing to hold Big Pharma accountable for Minnesota’s growing opioid epidemic. Dozens of Republicans in the House voted against a bill to support prevention, intervention, and treatment of opioid addiction. Why? Because the Big Pharma lobby wanted them to.
…and insurance companies too
Minnesotans made it clear last election: we want peace of mind when it comes to our health insurance. We want to know that our pre-existing conditions will be covered, and that our coverage will come at a price we can afford.
But Republicans are STILL trying to make it easier for insurance companies to rip off Minnesotans. A bill introduced by Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen this week would create a high risk pool (which was a disaster the first time around) and allow insurance companies to deny coverage for Minnesotans with pre-existing conditions.
Really? This again?
Minnesotans who are living with diabetes or opioid addiction don’t have time to wait for Republicans to stop voting with their wallets instead of their hearts. Families shouldn’t have to go another day worrying about their health and financial security because Republicans are choosing profits over people. Republicans: you were elected to represent Minnesotans. Not pharmaceutical companies. Not insurance companies. Minnesotans. Start acting like it.
Voting against safer workplaces
DFL Representative Kelly Moller is a longtime victim rights advocate. So when she sponsored a bill to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace and make it easier for victims to seek justice, Minnesotans–and DFL-ers–rallied behind her. Republicans? Not so much. Ten Republicans voted against the bill. Why do these Republicans oppose creating safer workplaces for Minnesotans?
Denying Minnesotans the wages they deserve
A bill introduced by House Republicans this week would create a two-tiered system allowing businesses to pay workers who earn tips below the minimum wage. Republicans need to understand that all Minnesotans deserve fair wages.
Shortchanging our public schools
School Vouchers don’t work, so why do Republicans keep pushing them? While Governor Walz and Lt. Governor Flanagan have proposed historic investments in education, and have travelled the state hearing from students, teachers, and families, Republicans at the Capitol have been calling for private school scholarships while shortchanging our public schools.
All Minnesotans want their kids to get a great education, no matter where they live. Why do Republicans keep standing in the way?
We’re getting pretty tired of Republicans standing in the way of the bills that Minnesotans care about. Together, we need to stand up and let them know what really matters to Minnesotans. Find out who represents you here.