Democrats have introduced legislation that would officially codify Governor Walz’s mask mandate into law. The bill, House File 604, would require masks to be worn in a variety of settings including:
- indoors at a business or public setting;
- waiting outdoors to enter an indoor business or indoor public setting;
- riding on public transportation, in a school vehicle, in a ride-sharing vehicle, or a vehicle being used for a business purpose;
- outdoors when it is not possible to maintain social distancing from others who are not members of the individual's household; or
- in a common area of a multi-unit dwelling.
Individuals and businesses that do not comply with the legislation would be subject to criminal penalties.
This bill codifies the one-size-fits-all approach that we have seen since the beginning of the pandemic and puts the federal government in charge of when the mandate would end - not state legislators or Governor Walz. These decisions should be made at the local level, by the people who live and work in our community, instead of politicians in Washington, D.C.
Thankfully, I expect this bill has little chance of becoming law thanks to the Republican majority in the Senate. I am opposed to this legislation and believe individuals should make decisions for themselves and their families without government coercion.
Controversial Sex Education Bill
I have received dozens of emails from constituents that are concerned about a controversial sex education bill that was heard in the Education Policy Committee. House File 358 would require school districts and charter schools to provide sexual health education using a model program designed by the Department of Education.
The bill would require school districts that opt to develop sex education standards locally to apply to the Education Commissioner for approval.
This legislation is unnecessary and redundant to current law requiring school districts to provide a program to prevent and reduce the risks of sexually transmitted infections and diseases using comprehensive, technically accurate, and updated curriculum.
Further, current state law delegates the development and adoption of health standards to local school districts. This proposal would usurp that local control with an unfunded mandate that essentially overrides the local curriculum development process.
For something as serious as sex education, it is important that we maintain local control for school boards, parents, and teachers to decide what is best for their children.
Staying in Touch
Please do not hesitate to reach out to me to share any thoughts or concerns you may have about state government or the job I'm doing as your representative. It would be great to talk with you. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-8237 or via email at email@example.com.
Have a great weekend,