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

Legislative News and Views - Rep. Athena Hollins (DFL)

Back to profile

Legislative Update 2.17.2023

Friday, February 17, 2023

Dear Neighbors,  

It is an honor to be representing district 66B at the Minnesota House for my second term. Since the start of the legislative session, we have been hitting the ground running. With the DFL trifecta (House and Senate majorities, plus the governorship), my colleagues and I are committed to moving legislation through the House to dismantle racism, uplift voices within our communities, and ensure we are taking accountability for the decisions we are making that impact the lives of Minnesotans. I am happy to be on the following committees this year; Rules and Legislative Administration (where I serve as Vice Chair), Property Tax Division, Climate and Energy Finance and Policy, and Public Safety Finance and Policy.  


Conversion Therapy Ban 

As people develop and find their identities, it is important for our society to uplift and affirm their experiences and stories. As a queer woman, I can assure you, that being loved and valued for exactly who you are, allows you to thrive. This bill protects LGBTQIA+ minors and vulnerable adults from harmful practices that diminish their self-worth.  

HF 16, prohibits mental health practitioners or mental health professionals from providing conversion therapy to vulnerable adults and clients under age 18, and specifies that such therapy is not covered by medical assistance. The bill also prohibits fraudulent or deceptive advertising practices relating to conversion therapy. 

Exciting news! HF 16 will be going to the House Floor on Monday Feb. 20 at 3:30 p.m. I hope you can make it to the Capitol to cheer us on! 



I authored House File 372 to require manufacturers of products containing intentionally added PFAS (perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances) to submit a notice of that fact to the commissioner of the Pollution Control Agency. Health problems are linked to PFAS and we need protections for Minnesotans from harmful toxins that may have lifelong impacts.  


Black Maternal Health Caucus  

The Black Maternal Health Caucus launched our legislative agenda for the 2023-2024 legislative session. These are steps we can take to improve maternal and infant health outcomes and reduce mortality and morbidity among birthing Black mothers. 

Black Maternal Health Caucus


 Legislative Session Underway  

Last fall, Minnesotans delivered a united state government with DFL majorities in the Minnesota House and Senate, while reelecting Governor Tim Walz. I’m incredibly proud of the bipartisan accomplishments we were able to deliver these past few years, but too often Republicans stood in the way of the meaningful changes Minnesotans deserve.  

House and Senate leaders recently unveiled the legislative priorities to move Minnesota forward. My colleagues and I are ready to work hard, work together, and work quickly to deliver on the issues that matter most to Minnesotans. 

Since the beginning of session, we have signed several bills into law; 

? Reproductive Codification Act 

? Driver's License For All 

? The CROWN Act 

? Restore the Vote 

? Juneteenth State Holiday 

? Early Care and Learning Stabilization Grant, Increasing Reimbursement Rates 

? Universal School Meals 

? Emergency Funding for Food Shelves 

? 100% by 2040 Climate and Clean Energy  

? Sick/Safe Time 

We are moving at a pace that Minnesotans want, and Minnesotans deserve. I am committed to uplifting the voice of EVERY Minnesotan. 

Restore the Vote  

The Minnesota House voted to pass the Restore the Vote Act on a 71-59 vote. The bill would restore voting rights to individuals convicted of a felony upon completion of incarceration. Twenty-one other states, including our neighbor North Dakota, have already restored voting rights upon release, and I was proud to author this bill and support it on the House Floor.  

Voting rights are civil rights. Passing this legislation is monumental for those who have had their voices were stripped and are forgotten about. The Restore the Vote legislation will give people the opportunity to feel heard again and that their voice matters in the democratic process.   


Earlier this month, Governor Walz signed the CROWN Act into law. This bill protects Minnesotans from racial discrimination based on natural hair and texture. I'm proud to stand with my colleagues to get this long overdue measure added to and defined in the Minnesota Human Rights Act. 

 Juneteenth State Holiday  

I am grateful to all the advocates and testifiers who have shown up over years to make this day possible. This bill establishes Juneteenth, June 19, as a state-recognized holiday. June 19 is the date on which slavery is generally understood to have been fully abolished in the United States, following the first public reading of the Emancipation Proclamation in Texas on June 19, 1865. Establishing Juneteenth as a state-recognized holiday passed on a nearly unanimous vote of 126-1.  


 Reproductive Rights 

On Tuesday, January 31, Governor Walz signed the PRO Act into law, making Minnesota the first state to act nationally to protect abortion rights since the overturning of Roe v. Wade last June. Now that the PRO Act is codified into state law, Minnesotans’ reproductive rights are safeguarded. 


 Drivers Licenses for All 

I voted to pass HF 4, known as “Driver’s Licenses for All” a bill that would to restore the ability of our undocumented neighbors to earn a driver’s license. This measure would impact 81,000 of our immigrant neighbors. After passing standard licensing exams and tests, families will be able to complete essential daily tasks like driving to work, dropping kids off at school, or attending medical appointments, or enjoying a night out at a restaurant or the movies. This proposal has broad support from law enforcement, the business community, unions, and immigrant communities who have been working for nearly 20 years to restore Drivers Licenses for all. !Si se pudo! 



All of us deserve to be safe when we are on the road and getting more people to pass a driving exam and become licensed ensures motorists have a common understanding of the rules of the road, can safely operate a vehicle, and can obtain insurance. 

Emergency Funding for Food Shelves  

The legislation will invest $5 million to the Department of Human Services for food shelf programs. DHS will then distribute funding under the bill to Hunger Solutions, an organization that supports Minnesota’s food shelves by connecting resources to serve its clients. Last year, Minnesotans made 5,285,229 visits to food shelves, totaling over 1.4 million more visits than in 2020. Minnesota had a record number of food shelf visits in 2022. Food shelves served 5,285,229 visits from January to November 2022. This is already over 1.4 million more visits than the previous record set in 2020 even with December visit data still to be reported by food shelves.  

On Thursday, February 9, the legislation passed on the House floor with a 129-0 vote.  



Increasing Investments to Prosecute Violent Crimes  

The House recently passed a bipartisan bill that will boost funding to address violent crime and to provide counties the tools they need to prosecute heinous crimes statewide. 

With additional public safety investments, and in partnership with the Minnesota Attorney General’s office, this bill, which has already passed in the senate, would allow us to hire more county prosecutors so they can expand their scope to charge violent crimes. These offenses, including crimes like assault, kidnapping, sexual assault, robbery, burglary, human trafficking, sex trafficking, homicide, and more, are an assault on our communities and our society.  

It is up to us to make sure we have working systems in place to hold offenders accountable and ensure safety to all Minnesotans. 

Minnesotans deserve to be and feel safe, and whether you live in the suburbs, the metro, or greater Minnesota, this bill will ensure more bad actors and violent criminals are prosecuted and held accountable.  

100% By 2040 

The last eight years globally have been the hottest on record, and Minnesota is among the top states currently seeing rapid changes to our climate. Scientists know that climate change driven by fossil fuels is impacting our environment, infrastructure, and our health. Minnesota has long been a leader in clean energy, but partisan gridlock in recent years has hindered attempts to combat climate change. 

The House and Senate DFL majorities passed the 100% by 2040 bill, a landmark piece of legislation that will help our state address climate change head-on and prepare for a carbon-free future. Action at the state level is urgently needed to help the U.S. meet our climate goals. This legislation would require that the state’s utilities use entirely carbon-free sources for electricity production by 2040. This would put us on track with over 20 other states that have also adopted similar goals. 

Govenor Tim Walz, signed 100% By 2040 into law on Tuesday February 7.  

 Keep in Touch 

Please continue to reach out anytime if you need assistance or have questions at or 651-296-4224. You can also follow my official Facebook page.  

In community, 

Rep. Athena Hollins 

Minnesota House of Representatives 

Legislative Assistant: 

Abdullahi Abdullahi