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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Josh Heintzeman (R)

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Legislative Update from Rep. Josh Heintzeman

Friday, May 10, 2024

Dear Neighbors,

The pace has slowed this week as the remaining omnibus supplemental finance bills have received initial approval in the House of Representatives—mostly with only Democrat support. These bills now head to conference committees where differences between the Senate and House versions of the bills will be hashed out. I’m hopeful that many of these bills will return improved and that the problematic provisions will have been stripped out during conference committee.

As always, I encourage you to reach out to my office if you have any questions, comments, or concerns about a matter related to state government. My contact information can be found at the bottom of this newsletter.

Standing for Religious Liberty

This week, after months of pressure from Republicans, the faith community, and Minnesotans, we were able to finally pass legislation that restores a religious exemption to portions of the Minnesota Human Rights Act (MHRA). 

This had been an ongoing issue due to changes made in state law related to gender identity by Democrats last year. Up until recently, the MHRA included an exemption for religious organizations including churches, synagogues, and faith-based schools to, among other things, hire teachers and ministers consistent with their mission and values.

Few things are more foundational to our constitutional republic than freedom of religion. It is enshrined in our state and federal constitutions and is the bedrock from which our nation was founded. That’s why I was so concerned by changes in law made by Democrats last year that stripped important religious protections for churches and other religious organizations. 

Our vote on Tuesday was an important one that restored these protections to make sure everyone in Minnesota has the freedom to practice their religion without fear of coercion from the state government.

Senator Mitchell Update

On Tuesday, the Senate Subcommittee on Ethical Conduct held a hearing regarding Senator Nicole Mitchell’s arrest and the 1st-degree burglary charges she is facing in Becker County.

You can read the formal ethics complaint filed by her Senate colleagues here.

The subcommittee consisted of two Democrat senators and two Republicans, and they were tasked with gathering testimony from the involved parties, allowing time for questioning, and determining whether to proceed with an investigation to determine if Sen. Mitchell violated Senate Rules related to ethical standards. To be clear, Tuesday’s hearing was not a criminal proceeding.

I encourage you to watch the hearing by clicking here.

This ongoing saga continues to be the defining issue of the final week and a half of the legislative session. Will Senate Democrats do the right thing and not allow Sen. Mitchell to be the deciding vote on legislation that could shape Minnesota for the next decade-plus? Or will they let their thirst for power cloud their judgement and push ahead as if nothing has happened?

Only time will tell.

Staying in Touch

Please be sure to reach out to me to share your thoughts, concerns, and ideas. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-4333 or via email at

Have a good day,