I hope you’re taking good care of yourself and taking a breath to enjoy the summer during these turbulent times. I’ve gotta tell you, I’ve been taking a lot of deep breaths in the last few weeks as the Supreme Court delivers opinion after opinion taking away rights from Americans and limiting the power of states and Congress to address gun violence, climate change, and other serious issues.
The thing is that this radical agenda is being enacted by six right-wing Justices without the consent or support of voters. In fact, large majorities of the public are demanding that Congress and the states protect reproductive freedom and act to make our schools and communities safe from guns. There’s no denying that the rulings the Supreme Court has issued in the two weeks will have a tangible impact on peoples’ lives. As a state legislator, I don’t have the power to change what’s happening on the Supreme Court, but we do have the power to fight for what Minnesotans want and need. I will do everything I can to protect the lives, rights, and freedoms of Minnesotans and to ensure our state is prepared to help those who are targeted.
Preserving Reproductive Freedom
Now that the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade and upheld Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, seven states already have banned abortion and many more are rushing to enact bans before the summer is over. States in the Upper Midwest are rushing to enact abortion bans, and Minnesota is likely to become the only state amongst our neighbors where people can get a safe and legal abortion. I believe that means we have a responsibility to protect Minnesotans and people from neighboring states who come here to get an abortion or other reproductive care that isn’t available in their home state.
I’m proud that the Governor, the Attorney General, and DFL legislators are stepping up to ensure that Minnesota is prepared to protect and strengthen reproductive healthcare. On Saturday, Governor Walz issued an executive order to protect people who come to Minnesota seeking abortions and the health care providers who work with them. Governor Walz and Attorney General Ellison have pledged to deny requests from other states to extradite individuals who seek an abortion, help others seek an abortion, or provide an abortion that’s legal in Minnesota.
While abortion is still legal in Minnesota, we cannot be complacent. House DFLers blocked efforts to restrict reproductive rights earlier this year, and we expect to see more of these challenges in the future. That’s why House DFLers also introduced legislation to protect reproductive rights and expand access to reproductive health care. Many of these bills are included in the Reproductive Justice Legislative Agenda assembled by UnRestrict Minnesota. As a member of the Reproductive Freedom Caucus, I will continue supporting these bills and efforts to remove unnecessary restrictions on abortion, protect patients and health care providers, and make sure abortion and other forms of reproductive health care are accessible and affordable.
Connecting with Minnesotans
On Monday, I joined grassroots organizations, unions, and advocacy groups to celebrate the launch of We Choose Us, a coalition that’s dedicated to fighting for multiracial democracy. If there is ever a time when we need to come together to defend and strengthen our democracy -- it is now. I’m proud to work together and support this growing coalition of Minnesotans working together to defend democracy, strengthen our communities, and ensure everyone has a voice. If you’d like to learn more about it, please check out wechooseusmn.com.
New Laws Take Effect
Several new laws are taking effect today, including legislation that will:
Establish a new office to improve the health, safety, and welfare of Minnesotans in foster care
Strengthen the state’s Fraud Bureau and give it the authority to investigate more financial crimes, including wage theft
Fund more than 100 projects that will protect our environment
Provide funding for ALS research and support people who are caring for a loved one with ALS
You can view a list of the laws that are now in effect here.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any feedback or if I can be of assistance! You can reach me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (651) 296-4200.