Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Capital IconMinnesota Legislature

Legislative News and Views - Rep. Hodan Hassan (DFL)

Back to profile

Legislative Update - February 27, 2019

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

I hope this finds you well. Here’s a quick update for this busy week at the Capitol.  
African Heritage Day
I got the opportunity yesterday to speak at the African Heritage Day and Muslim Day at the Capitol about the United Black Legislative Caucus and the historic black representation in both the Minnesota Senate and House of Representatives. As a black, Muslim, former refugee I had all odds against me, yet I’m serving as a state legislator in Minnesota. I got to talk a little bit about making sure every black child in Minnesota sees that they too can have opportunities to succeed in life.

Gun Violence Prevention
Tonight the House Public Safety and Criminal Justice Committee is meeting to hear two bills to address the epidemic of gun violence in our communitites. HF 8 would require criminal background checks to be performed prior to all gun sales. HF 9 would provide for “red flag laws” allowing Minnesotans to temporarily remove an individual’s access to firearms if a court determines they may be a threat to themselves or others.
Minnesota’s background check system currently has loopholes allowing dangerous individuals to obtain guns through online dealers or through private sales. Evidence shows expanded background checks will save lives, and states which have taken this approach have experienced lower homicide rates, lower firearm suicide rates, and less firearm trafficking.
Minnesotans have been loud and clear about wanting their representatives to address gun violence. These measures will help keep our communities safe and keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people.
Driver’s Licenses
Last week I participated in a press conference to kick off a bipartisan legislative effort to allow driver’s licenses for all. All Minnesotans used to be able to get a driver’s license, regardless of immigration status, until the rule changed in 2003. Community members, business and religious leaders, and law enforcement spoke on behalf of the bill’s advantages for all of Minnesota’s communities.
Preventing people from getting a driver’s license means we’re making it harder for them to get and keep a job, which means it’s harder for them to participate productively in their communities. Or, they are forced to drive without a license, endangering themselves and public safety. This bill would allow everyone to live, hold jobs, check on elderly family members and drive their children to the doctor without fear. It has a public hearing tomorrow in the transportation finance and policy committee.

Reminder that tonight I am hosting a community listening session with General Keith Ellison, County Commissioner Angela Conley, Representative Mohamud Noor and Council Member Abdi Warsame. Community input is important in everything we do at the Capitol, and I hope you’ll join us. Stop in to the Brian Coyle Center anytime between 6-8 p.m. tonight.
 Hodan Hassan