I hope this email finds you well. Our pace continues to pick up at the legislature, considering and amending legislation, passing bills out of committee and the house floor, and visiting with constituents. Here’s an update from the State Capitol:
Improving Safety and Economic Security for Minnesotans
Minnesota ranks in the top five for catalytic cover thefts nationwide. Last week, we passed legislation to crack down on theft by prohibiting anyone from possessing a used, unattached catalytic converter unless the owner has the vehicle identification number (VIN) for the vehicle and the date the converter was removed from the vehicle. It prohibits the sale and purchase of catalytic converters by anyone other than registered scrap metal dealers and would impose a fine of up to $10,000 for unlawful possession and sale.
Last week, the House approved legislation to expand Earned Sick and Safe Time benefits to all Minnesota workers. Currently, a third of our state’s workforce lacks any sort of paid leave. The legislation would ensure, at a minimum, one hour of paid Earned Sick and Safe Time for every 30 hours worked, up to at least 48 hours per year. Many workers are still forced to make an impossible choice between earning a paycheck and taking time off to care for themselves. Voting for this bill is a vote to make Minnesota a more welcoming and supportive state for children and families.
We also passed HF 16, which would ban conversion ‘therapy’ for minors and vulnerable adults. Conversion therapy has been identified by the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Psychiatry Association as a dangerous and discredited practice that has traumatized many LGBTQ+ Americans.
This evening, we’re slated to pass legislation off the House Floor that’s 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. As a teacher, I’ve seen firsthand the impacts homelessness has on families, students, and their opportunity to thrive. I’m looking forward to voting ‘YES’ on this bill.
This week, I presented a couple of significant education bills in committee. The first would provide more support for Minnesota teachers to teach and coach students through economics and personal finance programs. A colleague of mine is also working on legislation to require a personal finance class as a graduation requirement in Minnesota high schools.
The other bill I presented would modify the teaching license renewal requirement related to training on the needs of English learners. It’s one step we can take to make sure our EL learners have more opportunities to improve their English skills.
Great to be with EL advocates, especially former Rep. Mariani!
Connecting with Community
Great to meet with these FFA students! FFA, Future Farmers of America, is an incredible youth organization that promotes personal growth and career success through agricultural education. Minnesota is an agricultural leader and I'm proud to carry legislation that invests in the program and the students who contribute to our strong ag economy.
I appreciated ISAIAH constituents coming to visit me at the Capitol!
Prescription Drug Prices Continue to Soar
Under an initiative lawmakers passed in 2020, the Minnesota Department of Health collected and analyzed data from more than 200 manufacturers covering nearly 700 drugs. For the drugs with the fastest growing prices subject to Minnesota reporting, list prices rose an astonishing average of 41.6% from 2017 to 2022.
All Minnesotans deserve health care they can afford, and the ability to pay for prescription drugs is a critical aspect of health, wellbeing, and economic security. House DFLers recognize the high prices of prescription drugs impact everyone in our state, and we’re working on a variety of solutions including those to improve price transparency, eliminating cost-sharing and co-pays, and cracking down on price gouging, the latter of which we plan to pass today on the House Floor.
Community Conversations with Rep. Clardy
There are a number of community gatherings coming up I’ll be hosting or am involved in and would love to connect with you!
On Sunday, March 5 from 2:00-5:00 p.m., our neighboring State Rep. Pérez-Vega is hosting a gathering in coordination with West Side Community Organization focused on improving safety in our communities. I’ll be there to listen, and I hope to see you there.
On Saturday, March 11 at 12:30 p.m., I’ll be hosting a Community Conversation at Amore Coffee (879 Smith Ave. S., West Saint Paul) in West Saint Paul. This is an informal, casual gathering and everyone is welcome to share their questions or views.
On Sunday, March 19 at 10:00 a.m., Senator Klein, Rep. Hansen, and I will be hosting a District 53 Town Hall Meeting in Inver Grove Heights at the Community Center (8055 Barbara Ave., Inver Grove Heights). I’d love to hear what’s on your mind and what’s important to you to keep our communities moving forward.
Keep in Touch
Even if you can’t make it to one of the events listed above, feel free to reach out anytime at email@example.com or 651-296-3533 with questions or input. I’m always happy to see how I can help provide assistance.
Have a great weekend,
Mary Frances Clardy
Representative Mary Frances Clardy
529 State Office Building