It has been another busy week here in the House. It has also been a week of fantastic progress for Minnesota.
Reproductive Rights for All Minnesotans
Last night, my colleagues and I passed the Protect Reproductive Freedoms (PRO) Act off the House Floor. The sense of relief I feel knowing that we have done our part to ensure the right to bodily autonomy and reproductive healthcare for all Minnesotans is overwhelming.
This bill enshrines protections for all reproductive health care, including but not limited to contraception, sterilization, preconception care, maternity care, abortion care, family planning and fertility services, and counseling regarding reproductive health care.
The bill is awaiting action on the Senate side. Once the Senate passes the bill, it will head to Governor Walz’s desk for signature.
Teachers of Color Act
In the Workforce Development Finance and Policy Committee on Wednesday, Economics Professor Dr. Bruce Corrie from Concordia University gave a presentation on building a world class ALANA/BIPOC (African American, Latino/a American, Asian American & Native American/Black, Indigenous, and people of color) workforce. You can view the presentation in committee here. His presentation certainly helped set the tone for the important work ahead of us.
There are several bills headed our way during this session that will work towards achieving these goals. Notably, I will be working alongside Chair Hodan Hassan (DFL – Minneapolis), who chairs the Economic Development Finance and Policy Committee, on HF 320 to strengthen the Teachers of Color Act. This will help to increase the number of teachers of color in Minnesota schools. Minnesota public schools are growing more and more diverse, and to set our students up for success, it is important that our students see themselves represented in the classroom.
Paid Family Leave
Another long-time priority for me and my House DFL colleagues is finally passing legislation to ensure paid family and medical leave for all Minnesotans. HF 2, which will ensure paid family and medical leave for Minnesotans, is making a stop in the Workforce Development Committee this week.
This bill will give workers time to be with their loved ones during the most joyful and challenging moments of their lives. We all know that the first weeks after birth or the new placement of a foster or adoptive child is a critical time for families.
Currently, some Minnesotans are eligible for paid family leave through their employer, but others qualify for unpaid leave for these purposes via federal FLMA legislation. In a time where many families are struggling, this puts them in a difficult position. DFLers are committed to providing greater economic security for working families and ensuring that our youngest Minnesotans get the great start in life that they deserve.
Once passed, the legislation will provide workers with up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave per year.
This week, I had the pleasure of meeting with MN Diversified Industries’ leadership team. MDI is a leader in employing folks with disabilities in Minnesota. It was great to sit down with them to discuss how we can continue to support their mission while supporting our communities.
Keep in touch
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I appreciate your attention to these legislative updates. Have a good week.