SAINT PAUL, Minn. - Yesterday, the Minnesota House of Representatives voted to pass HF 28, known as the “Restore the Vote” Act, off the House floor. The bill would restore voting rights to individuals convicted of a felony upon completion of any incarceration imposed and executed by a court for the offense. The House also passed HF 48, which would recognize Juneteenth as a federal holiday. Rep. Mary Frances Clardy (DFL – Inver Grove Heights) is a co-author on both bills and voted to support them. Rep. Clardy released the following statement:
“It’s significant we passed two landmark pieces of legislation that not only deeply impacts the Black community, but also our communities of color in Minnesota. Juneteenth’s nearly unanimous passage recognizing the end of slavery reflects our American values of liberation, and emphasizes education and progress. It’s the right thing to do.
“Restoring the vote is an equity issue and a racial justice issue. Black Minnesotans account for 20% of those ineligible to vote, but make up just 4% of the state’s voting-age population. Indigenous Minnesotans are less than 1% of the voting-age population but are almost 7% of those ineligible to vote. Hispanic Minnesotans are 2.5% of the voting-age population but 6% of those with voting rights withheld.”
“I’m grateful for the leadership of bill authors Rep. Ruth Richardson and Rep. Cedrick Frazier in ensuring all Minnesotans are seen and can have a voice in our shared society.”
In the Senate, Restore the Vote is making its way through committee hearings. Juneteenth has been passed by the Senate and was signed by Governor Walz today.