The first month of session has passed in a bit of blur as we are striving to be historically productive. For too long gridlock has dominated politics at the Capitol, so we are working hard to make up for lost time.
Driver’s Licenses for All
On Monday, the House passed our Driver's Licenses for All bill to ensure Minnesotans are able to safely drive to work, school, or the doctor, regardless of immigration status. This bill had one the largest coalitions of stakeholder support I’ve ever seen: nonprofits, faith communities, law enforcement, labor, business & more. A huge thank you to the people most impacted who have shown up for years and to the amazing authors Reps.Gomez and Perez-Vega. The joy and celebration after the vote was pure magic, and I’ll remember it forever. What an honor to do this work. You can watch the exciting moments after it passed here.
Today, I chaired the Public Safety Committee where we passed four bills which will greatly prevent gun violence in Minnesota. The bills included improved background checks, implementation of red flag laws, requiring safe storage of firearms, and creating a requirement to report lost and stolen firearms. Each one of these is a small part of a holistic approach to reduce gun violence across the state. Guns are the number one cause of death for children in the US. We must take action to prevent more tragedies now.
Thank you to all of the testifiers who came to support the bills including victims of gun violence, physicians, and law enforcement organizations including the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association, the Minnesota Sheriff’s Association, and the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association testified in support.
In the Public Safety Committee, we are also advancing bipartisan legislation to prevent and address crime, including the following: my bill to apprehend carjackers and prevent dangerous high speed chases through the use of GPS technology, a bill to prevent the theft of catalytic converters and hold offenders accountable, violence prevention funding for local communities, resources to the BCA to assist local law enforcement with cases. We have passed accountability measures such as POST Board reforms to ensure proper licensure oversight of law enforcement, and we are addressing racial inequities in our public safety system.
Restore the Vote Act
Last night, the Minnesota House voted to pass the Restore the Vote Act. The bill would restore voting rights to individuals convicted of a felony upon completion of incarceration. Twenty-one other states, including our neighbor North Dakota, already restore voting rights upon release, and I was proud to cast my ballot to join them. The history of stripping the Constitutional right to vote is rooted in efforts to disenfranchise Black voters. I was proud to talk on the floor about Minnesota’s statewide victim advocacy groups supporting this legislation because restoring the vote is a violence prevention strategy. You can watch my speech here.
Governor Bill Signings
Just as the House has been hard at work passing bills, the Governor has signed them just as promptly. This week he signed the CROWN Act, which will prevent discrimination based on natural hair or texture and the PRO Act which guarantees abortion rights. So many have worked so hard since Roe v. Wade was overturned to protect individual freedom to choose in Minnesota. Thank you to everyone who made this historic week happen.
Stay In Touch
Please feel free to contact me directly with your viewpoints or if I can be of assistance. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org and my phone number is 651-296-0141. You can learn about bills that have been introduced here and keep track of the bills I’ve authored here.
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Thank you for the opportunity to serve you.