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David Bly, We All Do Better
Member of Minnesota House of Representatives District 20B
Updated: 1 hour 22 min ago
Minnesota is moving in the direction of an economy that works for everyone. Middle class families have a better opportunity to live the American Dream than they did two years ago. There’s a lot more work to be done. Thanks to new policies enacted by the legislature, we’re getting closer to where we need to go.
By working together and across party lines in many instances, state lawmakers restored fiscal stability, made new investments in education, raised the minimum wage, improved laws to ensure women receive equal pay for equal work, made our tax system fairer, expanded access to affordable health care and made a down payment on long overdue improvements to our roads and bridges.
All of those accomplishments are an important departure from the previous decade when government avoided investments in our future. By restoring our commitment to providing high-quality services and ensuring a great quality of life, Minnesota is an even better place to live, work, raise a family and do business.
As we look to the future, we need to focus on ideas and policies that continue growing the middle class.
For example, we froze college tuition for two years and expanded financial aid, but the cost of a college degree is still beyond reach for too many Minnesotans. Many who do go to college are shackled with debt. College affordability and student debt relief must be priorities at the legislature over the next two years.
We made an important down payment on improving our roads and bridges, after years of neglecting our needs, there’s much more to do. Minnesotans deserve a transportation system that can handle the demands of a growing population and economic growth. People need to be able to safely get to and from work. Businesses need to be able to efficiently get their products and services to market. Building a world-class transportation system must be a priority.
We reduced the number of uninsured Minnesotans by nearly half and implemented basic consumer protections that prevent insurance companies from cancelling your coverage when you get sick. However, there are still less than five percent of Minnesotans lacking insurance. Achieving universal coverage must be a priority.
We still have more work to do to assure our waters are clean and safe for drinking and recreation.
We’ve seen employers add tens of thousands of jobs throughout our state, but we need to make sure every single Minnesotan can find a job that allows them to support themselves and their family to the fullest extent possible. Ensuring benefits for employees such as paid sick leave and paid parental leave must be top priorities.
The health of our democracy depends on a thriving, robust middle class. By continuing to focus on educational excellence, living wage jobs, universal, affordable health care, a clean environment and a safe, efficient transportation system, we can work together to build a thriving ‘middle-class economy’ that works for everyone.
If you want to read more about my work on the middle class agenda you can visit: here
Rep. David Bly (DFL-Northfield), serves Minnesota House District 20B. He can be reached by phone at (651) 296-0171, by email at email@example.com or by postal mail at 559 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155.
I met with Northfield News reporter Kevin Krein last week to discuss the 2014 campaign. In the article, he stresses my interests in the middle class and income inequality (see my Northfield News article as well), the need for affordable health care, the importance of offering Minnesotans a quality education, and the need to take care of our environment (check out my voting history on the Conservation Minnesota website). I have enjoyed meeting residents of 20B while out door-knocking and while attending public events. The stories and input I receive during these conversations are invaluable as I go forward.
According to a news release by the Minnesota Department of Health, Minnesota will begin a monitoring program for people who have recently traveled in West Africa. The framework for the program involves identifying travelers based on their possible exposure to the Ebola virus and monitoring as follows:
- All identified travelers will receive active case management that will include twice daily monitoring by MDH staff.
- None of the individuals being monitored will be allowed to use public transportation for trips lasting longer than three hours, regardless of exposure history.
- Only those with a known exposure will be restricted from using local public transit or attending mass gatherings.
- All travelers will be allowed to have family members in their home.
- Only those travelers who treated an Ebola patient and have been exposed will be required to be restricted in their home (have no physical contact with others).
- All travelers will be required to keep a log of all activities and a log of close contacts during the 21 days.
- Any situation involving children or adults who work with children will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
In a KARE11 TV report, Health Commissioner Ed Ehlinger assured the public that there is no outbreak or epidemic in Minnesota, and he said “we want to assure people in Minnesota that everybody’s that’s been to west Africa is being monitored on a regular basis, so they can go about their business and not worry. We’re doing the worrying for the State of Minnesota.”