Affordable Housing and a Livable City
- With advocacy and support from Homes for All Coalition, the Minnesota House DFL Caucus made full funding for housing a priority in this year’s capital investment bill from the very beginning of the process ensuring that it become a reality.
- Jean was the chief author of the provision in the recent capital investment bill that provides the funding for bicycle paths for the Fort Snelling Upper Bluffs that will include links to Fort Snelling and LRT. Accessibility is key to the restoration and redevelopment of the historic buildings, something Jean strongly supports.
- Over the strenuous objections of wealthy suburban interests, Jean designed and passed the "This Old House" law to encourage the renovation of older homes by giving a tax incentive for improvements. Many residents took advantage of the law during its ten-year duration and the resulting improvements have had a lasting positive effect on our neighborhoods.
- Jean worked with the advocates for affordable housing to pass a law giving sales tax relief for construction materials used for affordable housing projects.
- Jean believes people have a right to be safe in their homes and communities and has authored numerous bills making our criminal laws tougher and easier to prosecute. For example she authored the law mandating that patrons of prostitution pay fines stiff enough to cover the costs of apprehension and prosecution and she wrote legislation that provided the money for five new prosecutors for Minneapolis. She authored a law making it easier to prosecute auto thefts and one with serious penalties for people who fail to appear in criminal court.
- She authored the law that allows Minnesota prosecutors to charge people with first-degree murder in child abuse cases and the law that makes it easier to prosecute child abuse cases that occur in daycare or foster care.
- In spite of fierce opposition from the National Rifle Association (NRA), Jean, working with the Minnesota Medical Association, added a provision to our statutes requiring "reasonable action" be taken to ensure that children up to the age 18 do not have access to firearms. Previous to that law change, Jean had already earned an "F-" rating from the NRA, one of the first "F-" grades they gave.
- She authored legislation that helps the city find owners of slum buildings who hide from the law.
- She persuaded the MAC to pay for noise insulation for Wenonah, Hale, Our Lady of Peace and Windom schools.
- Minnesota has more than 1100 criminal justice agencies. Their computer networks usually cannot interact or share information so it is difficult or often impossible to track down a criminal’s record of activity. Jean was the House DFL leader for the part of "Katie’s Law" that appropriated the funds for the first installment of an integrated criminal justice information system now known as CriMNet.