State lawmakers returned to the State Capitol Tuesday for the start of the 2020 Minnesota legislative session.
Rep. Rob Ecklund, DFL – International Falls, is excited for the session and the opportunities it brings to build a better future for all Minnesotans.
“It’s good to see everyone back at the Capitol, and I’m excited for the opportunities we have to strengthen education, make health care more affordable, and improve our economy both at home and throughout the state.” Ecklund said in a news release. “I think if we all commit to working together, we can have a productive session with meaningful solutions to improve the lives of Minnesotans, no matter where they live.”
Ecklund’s priorities this session include efforts to reduce the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs. He hopes legislation such as “the Alec Smith Emergency Insulin Act” will earn quick approval in the House. The bill would help ensure Minnesotans facing an emergency — those most in danger of rationing their insulin due to the high cost of the drug — have access to an immediate refill at their pharmacy. Northern Minnesota continues to experience a significant child care shortage, and he supports increased investments in early care and learning to support the youngest Minnesotans. He also supports measures to strengthen economic security for working families – including Paid Family & Medical Leave and Earned Sick & Safe Time – and new opportunities to grow the northern Minnesota economy, including through mining.
This session, Ecklund will again serve as the chair of the House Veteran and Military Affairs Policy and Finance Division. From this position, he will continue to advocate for initiatives to help improve the lives of military veterans, service members, and their families, such as the Veterans Restorative Justice Act, which would expand veteran’s courts.
He also plans to introduce legislation to help prevent suicide among veterans. Additionally, today on the House Floor Rep. Ecklund led his colleagues in a tribute to the three members of the Minnesota National Guard who tragically passed away in a Black Hawk Helicopter crash in early December.
Lawmakers will consider a capital investment bonding bill this year, and Ecklund supports a robust, regionally balanced package of infrastructure improvements across the state, which will also create good-paying construction jobs. He will advocate for regional projects at locations like the Silver Bay Veterans Home, the Split Rock Light House, Vermillion Community College, Falls International Airport, Lake Vermilion/Soudan Underground Mine State Park, and improvements to trails and transportation infrastructure.