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

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Legislative Update - March 12, 2019

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Last week my colleagues and I voted on a bill to put an amendment to our state constitution on the ballot so you, the voters, can decide whether our constitution should be amended to include gender equality. Believe it or not, gender isn’t accounted for under our state constitution, and 55 Republicans voted against this measure. I was proud to vote for this amendment to make a statement that all Minnesotans should be treated equally under the law, and am glad that this measure is one step closer to becoming a reality. Assumed equality is not enough. You can read the coverage from the Star TribuneDuluth News TribuneKSTP, and the Pioneer Press.

Women in the Minnesota House wore green and white in support of the Equal Rights Amendment

Other Legislative Updates 
Our community has a crisis in affordable housing, and tenants are too often taken advantage of. I’ve recently introduced and helped advance several bills which would protect renters and increase affordable housing. These measures are just a start to making sure our community is affordable, and that everyone has access to a safe, affordable place to live.

  • H.F. 1511 would expand eligibility for expungement of eviction records when it’s no longer a predictor of a tenant’s future behavior – far too often one conviction ruins a person’s chances at getting a good job and finding a safe, secure, affordable place to live
  • H.F. 495 would make sure tenants have more information (such as the specific unit they will occupy, the lease start and end dates, and the rent amount) before they sign a lease.
  • H.F. 1972 would require grounds for eviction before any action is brought. Under the bill, a landlord would have to provide written notice to the tenants, specifying the allegations raised.
  • H.F. 2289 would provide funding for family homelessness prevention
  • H.F. 2375 would add 57 beds for housing support in Hennepin County
Girls in Action
Last week my colleagues and I introduced a bill, which I co-sponsored, that would provide funding for a grant to Girls in Action, to expand Twin Cities’ community-based programs that encourage and support low-income girls of color. These programs will use proven methods to increase academic performance, high school graduation rates, mentoring, career development, community engagement, women employees of color in the workforce (STEM fields, particularly), and increase financial literacy. 
Gun Violence
We cannot let another life be lost before addressing gun violence. Two bills that address the epidemic of gun violence in our communities have been making their way through committees.
Under current law, background checks aren’t performed when guns change hands between non-licensed dealers. HF 8 would require criminal background checks to be performed all gun sales. These background checks are an effective way to make sure that people with a history of domestic violence or other violent crimes aren’t able to access guns. 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.

HF 9 would create “red flag laws,” allowing Minnesotans to petition a court if they see someone is in danger of harming themselves or others. On average, someone in Minnesota commits suicide with a gun every single day, often after showing signs of mental distress or violence. These laws would help save lives and prevent these tragedies.

Thank you for staying up-to-date! If you have any questions or comments for me, always feel free to reach out at or at 651-296-0294.
Hodan Hassan
State Representative – District 62A