An update from Senator Karla Bigham

Posted 11/10/21

Hello Neighbors, Hastings parent advocate Bridgette Norring and other concerned community members reached out to their local leaders to bring awareness to fentanyl poisoning. Because of their …

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An update from Senator Karla Bigham


Hello Neighbors, Hastings parent advocate Bridgette Norring and other concerned community members reached out to their local leaders to bring awareness to fentanyl poisoning. Because of their advocacy, Congresswoman Angie Craig and I hosted a town hall to hear their concerns and provide information to the community.

Bridgette’s advocacy is helping other parents and caregivers understand how social media plays a role in fentanyl distribution. She also discussed how Naloxone (Narcan) can counteract opioid overdose if used quickly. Make sure to check out the United Way of Hastings website (www.UnitedWayofHastings. org) for more resources and information.

Thank you to the community members that shared their concerns and questions with us. The discussion provided a lot of ideas on how to combat this epidemic. I am currently working on legislation for this upcoming legislative session based off the conversation we had at the Hastings town hall.

I also visited the IUOE Local 49 Training Center in Hinckley. On the tour, I learned about their training opportunities for their members and their apprenticeship program. I had a great time training to operate heavy machinery!

November 15 to the 21 is National Apprenticeship Week, a week to highlight the achievements, values, and importance of skilled workers in the United States. I look forward to touring the Carpenters Hall that week to learn about their apprenticeship programs and get a jobs update.

I’ll also be out in the district on Veterans Day honoring those who served. Throughout the rest of the month, I am connecting with domestic violence and sexual assault advocates to learn more about their legislative priorities.

What’s Happening at the State Senate I am honored to be appointed by the Senate Majority Leader Miller and the Minority Leader López Franzen to serve on the State Correctional Facilities Security Audit Group. The goal of the committee is to provide standards, support, and guidance in improving safety in the state’s correctional facilities. I look forward to our first meeting this month.

The Frontline Worker Pay Working Group met October 27 where the DFL members presented their compromise proposal which can be found here. The compromise proposal was rejected by GOP members. The Senate Republicans are playing politics with the lives of our frontline workers by holding hostage the Senate confirmation of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm. Let’s stop these games and get all of Minnesota’s essential workers the meaningful back pay that they deserve.

Violent crime in Minnesota On October 21, the Chairs of the Senate Judiciary and Transportation Committees held a joint informational hearing to discuss the escalation of violent crime in Minnesota.

I was disappointed that no public testimony was allowed from mental health providers, chemical health providers, and domestic abuse prevention advocates. All three of those professional groups are partners with law enforcement. This omission was especially disconcerting because the Chiefs and Sheriffs testified to the benefit of multidisciplinary teams for the community. Hearing from those who would join law enforcement on co-response teams would have greatly helped the committee to learn more about how they could meet the community’s needs.

During the joint hearing, we heard about the difficulties that law enforcement is experiencing when it comes to recruiting and retaining officers. Chiefs and Sheriffs also testified that more resources for mental health services is needed. My statement addressing the root causes of violence The Legislature can do a lot to help law enforcement train and recruit a diverse group for the next generation of law enforcement. I will be working with law enforcement on the reforms to education and hiring standards for law enforcement this upcoming session. I am committed to listening to law enforcement, mental health professionals, social workers, and domestic abuse prevention advocates to ensure safer communities.

All meetings are open to the public and held virtually. Keep checking the Senate Media Webcast Schedule and the Senate YouTube channel.

Senate District 54 Updates From MnDOT: Good news! The major road work on Hwy 316 is complete and crews are in the process of removing all of the closure and detour signs between Tuttle Dr. and Hwy 61 and the surrounding areas. There will be minor work to be completed in the spring that will include items like final pavement markings and turf establishment. There could be a few temporary lane closures during non-peak periods, there will not be full closures with detours. You can find more details by going to the Hwy 316 Improvement Project website.

From MDH: A public hearing on Regina Hospital’s proposed relocation of labor and delivery services is set for Thursday Nov. 18 at 6:00 PM. The Minnesota Department of Health’s Health Regulation Division will provide a forum for the greater Hastings community to discuss the proposed relocation of labor and delivery services for Regina Hospital to The Mother Baby Center at United Hospital and Children’s Minnesota in Saint Paul beginning Feb. 3, 2022. This meeting is virtual and can be found at: https:// news/pressrel/2021/hospital110121. html It’s an honor to represent you at the Capitol. Thank you! Karla Bigham [email protected] 651-297-8060 Committee Assignments Civil Law & Data Practices Policy, DFL Lead | Judiciary & Public Safety Finance & Policy | Local Government Policy