Last week, Minnesota Speaker Melissa Hortman announced that she was launching an investigation into six members of the Minnesota House of Representatives who spoke at a rally in St. Paul. I was one of those six representatives.
The Speaker claimed that she was investigating the representatives to see if they were involved in inciting violence. She asked the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) to carry out the investigation.
This week, the BCA reported that me and my fellow representatives did nothing wrong. The BCA confirmed that we exercised our First Amendment rights peacefully and no crimes were committed. They never opened a single investigation in response to the Speaker's request.
Speaker Hortman’s false accusation against me was nothing more than an authoritarian attempt to shame and slander me simply for practicing my First Amendment rights. The BCA has verified that Speaker Hortman was entirely wrong in her accusation, and the Speaker has admitted as much.
Any attempt to silence people who peacefully exercise their First Amendment rights is wrong.
Ensuring the integrity of our elections is of the utmost importance to me. As you know, I have spoken out on issues that have affected our elections. In 2020, the Minnesota Secretary of State unilaterally and unconstitutionally changed the rules which govern our elections. Today, many Democrats are attempting to put those rule changes into law.
As such, I have introduced two bills to ensure that Minnesota elections are conducted freely and fairly.
First, I have introduced HF 211. This bill is known as the voter ID bill. Essentially, my legislation requires that individuals present a photo identification card before they can vote. This process is straightforward and ensures that people are casting ballots honestly. Under my legislation, people can use their state driver’s license as their photo ID. For those who do not have a license, my legislation allows people to get a voter identification card from the Department of Public Safety for free.
The second bill I introduced was HF 213. This bill institutes the practice of provisional balloting. In Minnesota, voters who are unregistered to vote can show up on election day, register to vote, and cast a ballot. For those who register to vote on election day, HF 213 would set their ballot aside and only count it once their registration is verified and approved. We do not want people voting with false names and addresses.
I believe both these bills are common sense proposals that will provide much needed confidence in our elections.
Financial Support for Businesses
The Minnesota Department of Revenue has announced a new process for businesses to inquire about financial support amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Specifically, Minnesota businesses who did not receive a COVID-19 Business Relief Payment are encouraged to check with the Minnesota Department of Revenue and inquire if they are eligible to receive a payment. However, businesses only have until February 5, 2021 to participate in the inquiry process.
A link to the inquiry process with the Minnesota Department of Revenue is here: https://www.revenue.state.mn.us/covid-19-business-relief-payment-inquiry
A link to determine if your business is eligible for a relief payment is here: https://www.revenue.state.mn.us/covid-19-business-relief-payments