I hope you and your family are well after the winter storm. During the storm, the legislature postponed most of its business from Wednesday to Friday. We were back in action on Monday and I’m excited to bring you an update on our work.
We passed a slate of bills that will make Minnesota a safer and more welcoming state. First, we passed a ban on conversion ‘therapy’ for children and vulnerable adults. We must celebrate our LGBTQ+ youth for the people they are. I was proud to ban this dangerous and discredited practice and ensure we are protecting all Minnesotans.
We also passed a bill to establish The Office of Missing and Murdered Black Women and Girls. The statistics tell us that Black women and girls are disproportionately targeted and the crimes go unresolved much more often than crimes against white Minnesotans. I’m glad we were able to pass this bill to provide some equity to our Black neighbors.
Last week, we passed a bill dedicated to ending homelessness in our state by investing in emergency services programs, transitional housing, outreach, and a pathway to stable housing for all. Minnesotans are asking for equitable access to housing services and support systems in their communities. The Pathway Home Act provides the ongoing, collective efforts needed to disrupt the violent cycles of homelessness many people are experiencing.
In Minnesota, we are water protectors. Although we have tons of freshwater, we know 56% of all Minnesota’s freshwater is impaired today. But it was not always this way. So we must continue to protect and improve our clean water supply.
Copper sulfide mining has never been seen in Minnesota before. So all we ask is that they prove this type of mining will not pollute our freshwater supply before we approve permits. That’s why Senator Jen McEwen (DFL - Duluth) and I are introducing the Prove It First legislation. Let’s continue our traditions as water protectors and ensure we have clean, drinkable, fresh water for generations to come. You can watch our press conference with Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness here.
Child Protective Services does its best work when workers spend their time building relationships and supporting families. Some outdated, clunky IT systems are preventing our invaluable social workers from doing that work. Instead, workers report spending up to 50% of their time on paperwork. I hope you’ll listen to Suzanne Arnston and Samantha Goldman from Scott County Health and Human Services and their experiences doing their best to protect vulnerable children and families. I’m optimistic we can update these systems on a bipartisan basis. You can read more about the issue here and watch the testimony on my bill here.
Lastly, I’ve introduced a bill to end subminimum wage for people with disabilities. In Minnesota, we allow our neighbors with disabilities to be paid less than minimum wage (currently $8.63 at the least). Using the recommendations of the task force on the elimination of subminimum wage, I’ve introduced a bill that outlaws this practice except in very few cases. This is a discriminatory practice that devalues the work of someone because of their ability and it’s wrong. You can see my bill presentation here.
If you’re ever interested to see all the bills I have authored, you can find them here.
Stay in Touch
If you have questions, ideas, or feedback that you’d like to share, please don’t hesitate to reach out. You can email me at email@example.com or call (651) 296-4212. For more regular updates, you can subscribe to these regular legislative updates if you haven’t already, here, and you can also “like” and follow my official State Representative Facebook page.