You should be proud – you survived the snowiest February on record, only to be met with more cold and snow on the other side! Don’t worry, we have hot takes for you in this week’s legislative update.
I had a hearing last week on my bill to provide (much-needed) funds for the Kellogg Bridge repair, and I had the honor of Mayor Melvin Carter’s testimony on behalf of this important legislation. The bill also has the full support of the Capital Investment Committee, including Chair Mary Murphy.
You’ve probably heard me say it before – the ten thousand commuters who cross the Kellogg bridge every day rely in this infrastructure to get to their jobs, to soccer practice, to their families, and to the doctor. It connects Eastsiders with downtown St. Paul and the rest of the St. Paul community. Our state received a “C” grade on last year’s Infrastructure Report Card, and this bridge is the perfect example of investments our state needs to make in our roads, bridges, and sidewalks to keep our communities safe.
I want to say thank you to Anaa Jibicho, our 2019 Boys and Girls Club Youth of the Year, for sharing his incredible story on how big an impact the BGC had on his life. The Boys and Girls Club (BGC) serves nearly 50,000 youth across the state. It is my honor to carry a bill increasing early access to education, job-seeking skills, and career pathways in STEM learning in partnership with the BGC, so that no child is denied access to a great education and opportunities to seek a better life.
Last week “Logan’s Law” was heard in the Judiciary Committee. I’m so glad Rep. Cantrell is carrying this bill in Minnesota, which was inspired by Eastsider’s own Logan Graf. Currently, state law makes it hard for female couples to become legal parents. If the bill is passed, when a woman conceives through assisted reproduction, her spouse would be treated in law as the biological parent and exempt from financial and emotional hardships.
Gun Violence Prevention
This week the House Public Safety and Criminal Justice Committee met to hear two bills to address the epidemic of gun violence in our communities. HF 8 would require criminal background checks to be performed prior to all gun sales. HF 9 would provide for “red flag laws” allowing Minnesotans to temporarily remove an individual’s access to firearms if a court determines they may be a threat to themselves or others. Both bills passed the committee.
Minnesota’s background check system currently has loopholes allowing dangerous individuals to obtain guns through online dealers or through private sales. Evidence shows expanded background checks will save lives, and states which have taken this approach have experienced lower homicide rates, lower firearm suicide rates, and less firearm trafficking.
Minnesotans have been loud and clear about wanting their representatives to address gun violence. These measures will help keep our communities safe and keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people.
1 on 1 Conversations
This month I will be holding events to hear from Eastsiders. The first event will be over a glass of Thai ice tea on Saturday, March 16th, from 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM. Please RSVP for more information via: https://goo.gl/forms/e7ODzVluZiMLkeUZ2
The second 1 on 1 session will be at the last Saturday, March 30th, from 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM. Please RSVP for more information via: https://goo.gl/forms/rHHEQ0bP60VbrUgX2
I look forward to seeing many of you. Please contact me with comments, questions, and ideas at any time. If you ever have plans to visit the capitol, please let me know! My office is in the State Office Building, and you are always welcome here.
Vice Chair, Veteran & Military Affairs Division