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Legislative update

Thursday, March 28, 2024


Dear Neighbor,

Here’s wishing you and your family a blessed Easter. I hope you are able to spend extra time with friends and family this weekend as we cherish our most meaningful blessings. May the spirit of the Lord fill your home this Easter weekend and all the rest of your days.

We will be nearing the home stretch of the 2024 session when the Legislature returns to St. Paul next week. Only around two dozen session days – days either the House or the Senate meet on their respective floor – remain for this biennium, with adjournment scheduled for May 20.

In other news:

Religious freedom

Republicans in the Minnesota Legislature on Monday intensified their efforts to address an issue related to religious freedom. Democrats then put that project on indefinite hold.

The afternoon started with a press conference where dozens of religious leaders from around the state joined Republicans in calling for religious freedom to be restored in the Minnesota Human Rights Act, protecting religious organizations and faith-based schools against claims of gender identity discrimination.

Shortly thereafter, Democrats in the majority tabled a House Republican motion to bring forward legislation to make that happen. It was the third time this session Democrats had at least temporarily blocked a Republican attempt at restoring religious freedom language to the HRA, following committee votes in both the House and the Senate.

Religion is sacred ground in Minnesota and the Legislature should not be infringing upon people’s deep-rooted beliefs. When faith group groups first raised concerns over this issue, we assumed this was an oversight, and the department and majority would support restoring the status quo as it existed from 1993-2023. It is unfortunate to see a reluctance to fix this problem because it gives citizens no choice but to draw their own conclusion some people think the state’s views take precedent over our cherished religious freedom.

Before last year, when gender identity was included (or subsumed) within the MHRA definition of sexual orientation, the still-existing religious exemption for sexual orientation covered gender identity claims as well.

When a new, separate definition of gender identity was created last year, there was no corresponding religious exemption added. This issue caused alarm among Minnesota’s faith community and House Republicans worked with religious leaders to craft H.F. 3926, which ensures religious organizations and faith-based schools can, among other things, hire teachers and ministers consistent with their mission and values.

It remains unclear when – or if – the Democrat-controlled House will revisit that bill. At least one faith-based school already is facing an employment complaint at the department of human rights because of the removal of the exemption.

Helpful links:

Here are some links to help you follow developments in St. Paul this session:

Please Contact Me

It’s an honor and privilege to work for you at the Capitol. Don’t hesitate to contact my office at any time this session to share your thoughts, concerns or ideas. You can call me at 651-296-6316, or email me at I am here to serve you!