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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Mary Franson (R)

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Legislative Update from Rep. Mary Franson

Friday, March 11, 2022

Dear Friends,

Congratulations to Alexandria Area High School Boys Hockey team for their victory over Minneapolis at the Class A State Hockey Quarterfinals! We can’t wait to cheer you on when you play Hermantown today at 1pm. Go Cardinals!

DFL Plays Politics with Job Providers

Once again, the House DFL is playing politics with our job providers. If the legislature does not pass a bill to refund and replenish the UI Trust Fund by March 15, our employers will face a massive tax increase. Everyone supports helping our employers except the House DFL. The Senate passed their UI bill with a bipartisan, veto-proof vote. Even Governor Walz supports it and is urging the House DFL to pass this legislation.

Our state has a nearly $10 billion surplus. There is no reason why we cannot pass this bill now. If we miss this deadline, the responsibility for that failure lands squarely on the House Democrat’s shoulders.

Standing Up for Our Students and Parents

After two years of students being in and out of the classroom, Minneapolis teachers voted to strike this week. Their fight? According to the head of the Minneapolis teachers’ union: “Our fight is against patriarchy, our fight is against capitalism, our fight is for the soul of our city.” Our kids need to be back in the classroom, not back at home while their teachers fight capitalism.

I am keeping a close eye on education proposals that will impact all Minnesota families this session. HF 3434 is an ethnic studies requirement for our schoolchildren. This proposed legislation would require all students to successfully complete a semester-long “ethnic studies” course to graduate from high school. It also requires that ethnic studies must be taught in elementary, middle, and charter schools. 

Ethnic studies is defined in the bill as: “the ways in which race and racism have been and continue to be powerful social, cultural, and political forces, and the connection of race to other groups of stratification, including gender, class, sexuality, and legal status.”

The ethnic studies bill would also require the Department of Education to hire “dedicated ethnic studies staff” as well as develop “a model ethnic studies curriculum” for school districts to use. The model curriculum must also include “a power, race, class, and gender analysis” and “an intersectional analysis of climate, health, food, housing, education, and policy.”

Another bill, HF 550, which would require “climate justice” instruction for all students in grades 1 – 12. Climate justice is defined in the bill as “a framework that puts people first and views the effects of climate change as interconnected with forms of oppression connecting climate change to social and economic justice issues.” 

The bill continues to state that “school districts and charter schools are required to provide climate justice instruction for students in grades 1 through 12 aligned with current scientific research and integrated into existing programs, curriculum, or the general school environment of a district or charter school.”

Our teachers need to focus more on reading, writing, and math, and less on making our children social justice warriors. I will keep fighting to make sure we keep politically charged subjects out of the classroom.

FDA Goes to Court to Conceal Pfizer Information

The FDA went to court in January of this year to try to make the public wait until 2096 to disclose all data used to approve the licensure of Pfizer’s COVID vaccine. Thankfully, the judge ruled against the FDA and they will be required to release the information.

No matter where one stands on vaccines, we need to have all the information in hand in order to make the best decisions for our own health. Where there is risk, there must be choice. Repeating talking points of “it’s safe and effective” without the data is not providing informed consent. You can read more about this case here.