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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Sondra Erickson (R)

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Legislative Update from Rep. Sondra Erickson

Friday, February 28, 2020

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

On Thursday, Democrats brought two gun control bills to the House floor for a vote. Unfortunately, both bills ultimately passed, despite bipartisan opposition. As a strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment, I was proud to vote “no” on both pieces of legislation and I strongly suspect the bills will not pass in the Republican-controlled Senate.

Here are brief summaries of each:

Universal Background Check Bill (HF8): This legislation would impose several new restrictions on the transfer of pistols and semi-automatic rifles. These strict new hurdles and barriers will have a significant and negative impact on law-abiding Minnesotans seeking to exercise their Second Amendment rights.

While it punishes law-abiding folks, it will do little to prevent criminals from obtaining firearms who already have no intention of following the law in the first place. 

Further, the bill could inadvertently turn people into criminals if they don't follow the exact processes laid out in the bill.

Our state already conducts background checks on gun purchases and this bill would only serve to create more bureaucratic hurdles for law-abiding citizens exercising their Second Amendment Rights.

Red Flag Bill (HF9): This legislation creates a “red flag” process that would allow law enforcement to "temporarily" seize guns from people perceived to be a threat to themselves or others. This bill violates due process and will not stop those who are intent on harming others.

We have laws in place to remove guns from people who may be considered threats to themselves or others. Those going through mental crises can be placed on a 72-hour emergency hold for medical evaluation and potential commitment for further treatment. In cases of domestic violence, Minnesota statute currently directs officers to arrest if they believe that domestic violence has occurred in the preceding 72 hours or if the person poses a threat to the alleged victim.

Please be sure to contact your Senator and urge them to vote “no” on these bills.

Additional Bills

On Wednesday, the House approved legislation that establishes an emergency insulin program. Let me first say that I support ensuring access to insulin for those in emergencies or are struggling to afford their medication.

However, the Democrats’ bill to address this issue is not the correct way to accomplish this worthy goal.

Their bill raises taxes by $114 million to pay for this program. This comes on the heels of their vote last session to increase health care taxes by more than $2 billion over the next four years. Raising more tax revenue will increase costs for other insulin users.

Thankfully, numerous manufacturers and insurance companies have come to the negotiating table in the last 6-months and now provide programs for folks struggling to afford insulin. This includes health insurers on the individual market capping the costs of insulin at $25 or less for a month’s supply.

Further, Minnesota’s public health care programs, Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare offer generous insulin coverage, usually providing the products for free or at a significantly reduced rate. 

If you or someone you know struggles to afford or access insulin, please contact your doctor to discuss options available for you.

Finally, the House approved legislation on Wednesday evening that would limit how state parties could use data from the presidential nominating primary.

If this bill were to become law, it is unclear if the Republican National Committee (RNC) or Democratic National Committee (DNC) would seat Minnesota delegates at the respective national conventions.

For that reason, I did not support the bill.

Staying in Touch

Please be sure to reach out to me to share any thoughts, questions, or concerns you may have related to state government. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-6746 or via email at rep.sondra.erickson@house.mn.

Have a great weekend,

Sondra

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