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

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Last Week of Session

Monday, May 18, 2020

Dear Neighbors,

We wrapped up the 2020 session yesterday, but we weren’t able to pass many bills that Minnesotans need to get through this crisis. This session has been extraordinary in several ways, and we had to make difficult adjustments in order to pass needed legislation. By working together we passed significant COVID-19 legislation giving Minnesota some of the resources it needed to rise to the challenge. However, in the final week Republicans decided to block a lot of important legislation, and while there may be an opportunity to reconsider these critical measures as we continue our efforts addressing COVID-19, this last weekend was our best shot at reaching a compromise. Here is some major legislation that Republicans blocked in the final hours:

  • ratification of state worker contracts; these state employees include nurses on the front lines of COVID-19, corrections officers, cleaning and sanitation workers, public health workers doing the essential job of testing, monitoring, tracing, and mitigating COVID-19 in Minnesota. They are critical to our fight against COVID-19 and Republicans let them down;
  • $100 million in housing assistance for all Minnesotans; Minnesotans all across the state are facing difficulty paying their rent and mortgages, in order to fight this virus everyone needs a stable home;
  • increased  Minnesota Family Investment assistance for MN families that need the most help;
  • temporary wage increase for personal care assistants who are taking care of our most vulnerable;
  • ensuring full pay for hourly school workers; these workers are helping to raise and care for our children; they deserve to have financial assurance in these trying times;
  • emergency loans for state small and minority owned businesses; minority businesses form the backbone of our community and they need our help. 

Early during the COVID-19 crisis there was a sense of togetherness and comradery. Unfortunately, our efforts to support Minnesotans became partisan as my colleagues on the other side of the aisle began to deny the severity of the crisis and pander to pandemic-deniers. I will continue to do my best to advocate for our community's needs.

House DFL Releases Jobs and Local Projects Bill

The Jobs and Local Projects Proposal or “bonding” bill, did not receive the 3/5 vote necessary to pass in the House of Representatives due to lack of support from House Republicans. Our bill would have invested in Minnesotans in a time when it’s needed most, delivering $2.524 billion in renovations, repairs, and replacement of public assets like higher education institutions, clean water infrastructure, correctional facilities, roads and bridges, parks and trails, municipal buildings and more. There were several great proposals for our district, including $55 million for Bus Rapid Transit developments. I will continue to advocate for the local projects that our community needs.

The language of the proposal is available here. A spreadsheet of included projects can be found here

Jobs and Local Projects Plan - May 15

Environmental Justice Bill has Successful Hearing

Many of you have reached out to me regarding the City of Minneapolis’ development of the Roof Depot lot in East Phillips. Your concerns are justified; our community has suffered greatly from environmental injustice. It is very problematic that Minneapolis wants to increase the burden of an already overburdened community without listening to their valid concerns and counter proposals. Before the end of session, HF 4594 had a very successful hearing in the House Environmental and Natural Resources Policy Committee. This bill will require  the burdens of a community to be considered before a significant construction project is initiated or an environmental permit is issued. You can read the full press release on this bill here. If you can learn more about the East Phillips Neighborhood Institute and their fight here

Iftar Over Zoom

Join Representative Noor, Majority Leader Winkler, and me on May 20th as we host Iftar over Zoom. During this event we will include an explanation of the meaning of Ramadan, showcase Muslim organizations that continue to do amazing work for Minnesotans of all ages in spite of the circumstances, and breaking the daily fast together. Attendees will have the option of showcasing their meal.

Ramadan is the month of spiritual gains and family togetherness. We normally spend this month with family, friends, and neighbors to break bread with and to come together as one community. Because of COVID-19 we can’t all get together physically, but we can connect virtually to continue the tradition of togetherness.

I hope you can join me!


Additional Info

  • Last week, the House passed the Crown Act Legislation, which states that race is inclusive of traits like hair texture and hair styles such as braids, locks, and twists. This legislation is an important win for people of color who are discriminated against due to their hair. 
  • I was proud to support legislation which bans trichloroethylene (TCE), a toxic chemical that can impact the immune and central nervous systems, and can cause cardiac defects, renal disease, Scleroderma, low birth weight, miscarriage, birth defects, and neurological effects. With the governor’s signature, Minnesota was the first state to ban this human carcinogen. Read more about the bill here
  • For the most up to date information on how COVID-19 is affecting Minnesota, visit this dashboard.

Keep in touch

If you have friends, neighbors, or co-workers who might be interested in subscribing to this newsletter, they can do so here, and follow me on Facebook here. I’m grateful for the honor of serving you and our community. Please, now more than ever, feel free to reach out to my office.

Rep. Hodan Hassan,

531 State Office Building

(651) 296-0294