It was a late, late night on the House Floor on last night while we heard several bills, including those to ban private prisons, invest in clean energy, and protect trans rights. We adjourned around 5:30 a.m. this morning after passing landmark legislation to ensure the safety and rights of our trans neighbors. It was a long night, but it was well worth it to make sure that the trans community is safe here in Minnesota.
With the passage of the Trans Refuge bill, we made Minnesota an island of refuge for the trans community, who continue to face obscene levels of discrimination across the country. With our neighbors from the East, West, and South also threatening the lives and well-being of our trans neighbors, Minnesota will remain a safe place for those seeking gender-affirming care without fear of criminal penalty from states that have stripped these human rights.
Protecting Reproductive Rights for Everyone
Earlier this week, the Minnesota House voted to pass legislation to protect reproductive freedom for Minnesotans, as well as those from across the country coming to Minnesota in need of access to the full range of reproductive health care options. Once law, the Reproductive Freedom Defense Act will guarantee out-of-state subpoenas and court orders for records related to reproductive care cannot be weaponized for prosecution where such care is considered a crime.
Earlier this session, we established a fundamental right to make autonomous decisions on reproductive care. However, many other states are passing or operating under laws that make it difficult or impossible to access reproductive healthcare, including every one of our bordering states. These laws can include criminal penalties for providers and patients, as well as restrictions on the types of care that can be provided. Because of this, we’re making sure that Minnesota laws are explicit about protections for both health professionals and patients. We will not allow other states to persecute people for simply seeking or providing reproductive healthcare.
Investing in the District’s Arts and Culture
Two bills I presented this week would bring funding back to our community to support the county fairs of Minnesota and the Chilldren’s Museum of Southern Minnesota in Mankato. I know it’s difficult to imagine county fair season with all the snow and cold temperatures still hanging around, but if I close my eyes tight enough, I can almost smell mini-donuts and corn dogs and hear the speed of the derby.