PLYMOUTH — State Rep. Ginn Klevorn, DFL-Plymouth, is serving her first term in the Minnesota House of Representatives, representing District 44A.

Lakeshore Weekly News contacted Klevorn to ask her a few questions about the legislative session, which ended May 25 after a special session.

How was it serving in a divided legislature?

Minnesotans expect the legislature to compromise and get the work done. Despite our ideological differences, we can agree that by working together, we can make Minnesota an even better place to live, work, and raise a family. It wasn’t easy, but with hard work, persistence, and open communication, we delivered for Minnesotans. As a professional mediator, I was glad to bring my skills to the Capitol, working together to find common ground on a budget that will benefit Minnesotans.

What progress did you as a legislator make

in work on the

opioid crisis?

I co-sponsored bipartisan legislation that will invest in prevention, treatment and recovery by holding opioid manufacturers and distributors accountable for their role in creating the crisis. These resources will help communities deal with the financial costs of the opioid epidemic and support those who are struggling with addiction. Gov. Tim Walz has signed the bill into law.

What progress did you as a legislator make in work on gun control?

My focus has always been on public safety. Unfortunately, there were common sense public safety measures such as criminal background checks on purchases and a “red flag” proposal which would temporarily restrict an individual’s access to firearms if a court determines they may be a threat to themselves or others. Despite supportive expert testimony from law enforcement, survivors and family members who have lost loved ones from gun violence, the Senate halted progress when they sided with the NRA lobbyist who testified. I’ll keep working on this important issue for Plymouth.

How do you feel about how the gas tax ended in the legislature?

It’s imperative for us to consider long-term and dedicated funding not only to maintain our roads and bridges but to secure a safe, sustainable and reliable transportation system for the future. Minnesotans across the state deserve a serious long-term solution, not just a short-term, band-aid fix. I am open to ideas and suggestions for ways we can achieve this goal.

Is the Minnesota government doing enough to mitigate climate change?

The House took significant steps to prevent further consequences of climate change and build a thriving clean energy economy. It set us on a path to achieve 100% clean energy by 2050, while ensuring that electricity was affordable and reliable. The Solar on Schools program would save school districts money and provide learning opportunities and help colleges and universities expand their use of clean energy. We worked to accelerate the creation of clean energy jobs, reduced transportation emissions, supported more efficient buildings and community solar gardens.

These are important strategies to keep working on next year and into the future.

Would you change Minnesota’s health care system? Why or why not? Do you support Medicare

for all?

This year, one of our primary focuses was addressing the rising costs of prescription drugs. However, because most of the House’s efforts were spent preventing devastating cuts to over a million Minnesotans, and fighting for emergency insulin access (which was not included, unfortunately, due to the Senate’s unwillingness to include it in the health budget), I’m committed to continuing the work next year to ensure every Minnesotan has access to affordable health care. Health care continues to be the number one issue for Plymouth.

Why do you believe the MN legislature ends up in special session

so frequently?

As I’m finishing up my first year as a new legislator, I can’t speak to the previous years because so much of the work we do depends on the players, a willingness to listen to one another, compromise and be respectful. I think the national political divide can spill over into state governments, but as one of the only divided legislatures in the country, Minnesota proved we can be a national leader to get the job done effectively. This is a positive first step toward more productive legislative sessions that produce the results Minnesotans appreciate and value.

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