I hope this finds you well. Happy New Year!
The legislative session is underway. Last week, I was proud to be sworn in to represent our neighbors in Inver Grove Heights, West Saint Paul, Sunfish Lake, Lilydale and Mendota Heights at the State Capitol. This year, I’ve been appointed as the vice chair of the House Education Finance Committee, while also serving the Sustainable Infrastructure, Veterans and Military Affairs Finance and Policy, and Human Services Finance committees.
I’m thrilled to get to work at the Capitol on the big challenges our state is facing, ensuring all our neighbors and families can thrive.
Last week, we kicked off our first House Veterans and Military Affairs hearing. I’m honored to serve on this committee and get to work on addressing the pressing issues around veterans experiencing homelessness, and how we can do more for the brave women and men who serve our country.
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My colleagues and I worked quickly to pass a bipartisan bill on Tuesday to update Minnesota’s tax code into conformity with federal law. This will result in over $100 million in tax cuts to a wide range of Minnesotans while simplifying future tax filings. This efficient and unified action is just the beginning of an effective legislative session this year.
The Minnesota Senate also passed the measure with no opposition, and the bill has been signed into law. The nonpartisan House Public Information Services office has more details of the measure in their Session Daily publication here.
I’m encouraged the legislation passed unanimously!
By passing this bill within the first two weeks of session, the Department of Revenue will be able to incorporate these measures in time for this year’s tax filing season. While we moved swiftly to pass this bill, it doesn’t end our discussions at the Capitol about taxes. There are a lot of ideas out there, especially to help young families, homeowners and renters, and Minnesota seniors. As the session progresses, we will take a hard look at these solutions.
The CROWN Act
Our second bill to pass off the House floor also earned considerable support from both sides of the aisle. The Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair (CROWN) Act updates the definition of “race” in the Minnesota Human Rights Act to include “traits associated with race, including but not limited to hair texture and hair styles such braids, locs, and twists.”
While racial discrimination in the areas of housing, education, employment, and public services and accommodations is already prohibited, the CROWN Act would emphasize that discrimination based on the appearance of someone’s hair is explicitly considered racial discrimination.
According to research by the CROWN Coalition, 80% of African Americans are likely to change their natural hair to meet employer expectations while African American women are 1.5 times more likely to be sent home from work because of their natural hair’s appearance.
Celebrating the CROWN Act's passage with lead author, Rep. Agbaje
Keep in Touch
Please always feel free to share your input or ideas, or if I can ever be of assistance, at email@example.com or 651-296-3533, and I’m happy to help. I appreciate hearing from you! If you have a friend or neighbor who would be interested in receiving these Capitol updates, please forward this and encourage them to subscribe here.
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Thank you for the honor of representing you in St. Paul!
Representative Mary Frances Clardy
529 State Office Building