This week I had a timely meeting with MAPE and AFSCME neighbors at Capitol, the same day we voted on several bills to protect working people in the Jobs Committee. We took up and passed the Paid Family Leave Act, Earned Sick and Safe Time, and Wage Theft bills.
The Family Medical Leave Act would allow Minnesota workers to take time to care for a sick family member or a new baby, while still retaining a percentage of their salary. The bill has been through a lot of committee stops - it received hearings on Tuesday and Friday, and has an upcoming hearing on Monday. Minnesotans shouldn’t have to choose between putting food on the table and caring for themselves or their loved ones. The House is committed to providing economic security for hard-working families.
That also means protecting workers from wage theft. Minnesota workers deserve every penny in wages and benefits for time worked. But each year, more than 39,000 workers face wage theft by their employers, costing them $12 million in lost wages. House DFLers are working to prohibit wage theft so employers can’t deny employees the wages and benefits they have rightfully earned.
Minnesota Values Budget
Every/other year, the legislature passes a budget for the state for the two upcoming years. It’s one of the most important things we’ll do over the coming months. This week the House announced a framework for our budget, one that reflects Minnesota’s values and makes significant investments in education, affordable health care, and increasing economic prosperity across the state. If you want to read more about the budget you can do so here and here.
Instead of giveaways to insurance companies, our health care funding goes directly to consumers and paves the way for a public health care option. It will freeze tuition at our public universities, keep our air, water, and land clean, address the need for gun violence prevention, and improve racial equity.
Thanks for reading, and have a great rest of your weekend!
Nyob zoo sawvdaws!
Kuv zoo siab sawv cev rau nej sawvdaws hauv peb lub xeev Minnesota tsev dawb. Txhua txhua hnub, kuv zoo siab hnov txog nej cov kev cia siab, cov kev npau suav, thiab cov kev nyuaj siab. Kuv yuav mloog nej cov dabneeg thiab nqa nej cov lus mus ua kom kev cai thiaj li ncaj ncees, li ntawd peb sawvdaws lub neej thiaj zoo.
Txoj Cai Vaj Huam Sib Luag
Cov poj niam hauv Minnesota tsim nyog tau kev ncaj ncees rau txhua yam hauv lub neej. Txhua txhua tus neeg nyob hauv Minnesota, txawm yog poj niam los sis txiv neej, yuav tsum muaj txoj kev vaj huam sib luag txais txhua yam lawv xav tau. Lub peb hlis xya, peb tau txhawb tsab cai Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), los sis tsab cai vaj huam sib luag, mus dhau lub House of Representatives lawm, tab sis tam sim no, peb tseem tos kom dhau lub Senate. Yog dhau lawm, tsab cai yauv los rau ntawm daim ntawv xaiv tsa thaum nej mus pov npav, lis ntawd peb yuav cia cov pej xeem txiav txim yog nej puas txaus siab nrog txoj cai thaum lub kaum ib hlis ntuj xyoo 2020. Yog peb sawvdaws pov npav cai tsa txoj cai no, nws yuav pib thaum lub ib hlis xyoo 2021.
Minnesota Asian Pacific (MAP) Caucus mus qhauj xov tooj cua ntawm Minnesota Public Radio
Lub peb hlis yim, lub xov tooj cua Minnesota Public Radio tus neeg qhauj, Angela Davis tau nrog peb cov Hmoob Representatives tham: Rep. Jay Xyooj (DFL - St. Paul), Rep. Tou Xyooj (DFL - Maplewood), thiab Rep. Samantha Vaj (DFL - Brooklyn Center). Angela nug txog lawv txoj lawv txog kev khiav ua ib tus State Representative thiab cov kev nyuaj siab uas lawv hnov txog los ntawm cov pej xeem Hmoob. Mloog ntawm no.
Minnesota zoo siab yog lub xeem uas muaj Hmoob nyob coob heev hauv tebchaws Meskas. Hnub no, muaj ntau tshaj 85,000 tus Hmoob los tau nyob hauv Minnesota txog txij li thaum xyoo 1970 los. Nyob rau hauv Minnesota lub tsev dawb, muaj Hmoob tau los cia tsa coob dua li dhau los lawm. Txij li thaum xyoo 2002, muaj yim tus Hmoob los uas tau Representative thiab Senator.
Peb pib lub Minnesota Asian Pacific (MAP) Caucus vim yog muaj coob tus Asian tab sis no nyob haub lub tsev dawb. Peb siv peb lub zog los pab nriav kev ncaj ncees rau: immigration/kev nkag teb chaws, kev ua liaj ua teb, kev kawm ntawv, thiab kev pov npav.
Tsob Ntoo Maj/Hemp
Sawvdaws hauv Minnesota tsim nyog tau tshuaj uas pheej yig, ua rau lawv muaj kev noj qab huas huv, thiab muaj kev zoo siab. Ntoo Maj cov roj/ Hemp oil (CBD) yog ib hom tshuaj uas muab kev cia siab rau tsev neeg uas nrhiav tsis tau tshuaj pheej yig thiab tshuaj uas pab tau mob taub hau thiab mob Epilepsy. Vim li ntawd, Representative Samantha Vaj thiaj li sau tsab cai (HF 793) uas yuav pab qee txoj kev kom dav me ntsis rau cov lag laum thiab cov neeg ua haujlwm rog Ntoo Maj thiab ua kom neeg nkag siab txoj cai.
Kev siv Ntoo Maj cov roj/Hemp oil/Cannabidiol(CBD), ua raws li peb paub, tsis muaj kev qaug, tsis muaj kev quav tshuaj, thiab tsis muaj teebmeem rau kev noj qab haus. Ntoo Maj cov roj pab neeg nrhov tshuaj uas kim heev thiab neeg uas muaj kev quav yeeb, vim li ntawd, peb yauv tsum tso cai rau Ntoo Maj.
Es un honor representarlo en nuestro Capitolio estatal. Todos los días me inspiro en los minnesotanos como usted, que comparten sus esperanzas, sueños y desafíos. Estoy escuchando sus historias personales y, como resultado, estoy tomando medidas para mejorar la vida de los minnesotanos y construir un estado que funcione mejor para todos nosotros.
Es un placer para mí compartir esta breve actualización de la Legislatura.
Salvando vidas abordando la adicción a los opiáceos
En 2017, más de 400 minnesotenses murieron como resultado de sobredosis de opioides. El mismo año se realizaron más de 2,000 visitas a salas de emergencia por sobredosis relacionadas con opioides. La tasa de muertes por sobredosis relacionadas con opioides ha aumentado constantemente cada año desde 2010.
En respuesta a las desgarradoras historias personales que escucho de los minnesotanos y líderes de la seguridad pública en todo nuestro estado, voté a favor de la legislación para responsabilizar a las corporaciones farmacéuticas por su papel en la creación de esta crisis.
Big Pharma ha recaudado miles de millones en ganancias a lo largo de los años y no ha tenido que pagar ni un centavo para ayudar a los residentes de Minnesota a recibir tratamiento o para ayudar a las autoridades a mantener a nuestras comunidades seguras. Esto es incorrecto y es hora de que comiencen a contribuir a la solución. Hacer que las grandes corporaciones rindan cuentas es lo correcto y me enorgullece apoyar este proyecto de ley.
Protegiendo a los Minnesotanos del acoso sexual
Más del 80 por ciento de las mujeres reportan ser acosadas sexualmente en el lugar de trabajo. Esto es completamente inaceptable. Todos los minnesotanos merecen vivir y trabajar en un entorno libre de acoso sexual.
El 21 de marzo, voté con orgullo por House File 10, uno de los 10 proyectos de ley prioritarios de la sesión del Plan de Valores de Minnesota. House File 10 mejora los estatutos de acoso sexual para permitir que las víctimas y sobrevivientes busquen justicia. El patrocinador principal, representante Kelly Moller, de Shoreview, un fiscal del condado de Hennepin, habla a menudo sobre los sobrevivientes y las víctimas que inspiraron esta legislación.
Por una votación de 113-10 el 21 de marzo, la Casa de Minnesota dio un paso audaz hacia la mejora de las leyes estatales de acoso sexual. El Senado de Minnesota está promoviendo un proyecto de ley similar, y se espera que ambas cámaras resuelvan cualquier diferencia en un comité de conferencia en un futuro cercano.
Prevención de la conducción distraída
Según el Departamento de Seguridad Pública de Minnesota, la conducción distraída o no atenta fue un factor que contribuyó a uno de cada cinco accidentes entre 2013 y 2017, lo que resultó en un promedio de 53 muertes y 216 lesiones graves cada año. Los minnesotanos merecen estar seguros en nuestras carreteras, y queremos que nuestros amigos, vecinos y familiares también estén seguros. Es por eso que la Cámara de Representantes de Minnesota aprobó el lunes 18 de marzo la factura del teléfono celular de manos libres (Archivo de la Cámara de Representantes 50). Voté a favor de esta legislación porque las víctimas de la conducción distraída, los líderes empresariales y los defensores de la seguridad pública me inspiraron a actuar. La ley estatal actual prohíbe el envío de correos electrónicos, mensajes de texto y el uso de un navegador web mientras se conduce. El proyecto de ley del teléfono celular de manos libres aplica la misma ejecución y sanciones a los conductores que no usan su teléfono celular en modo manos libres. Hay excepciones para emergencias y funciones de activación de un toque.
Friday, March 22, 2019
Longer days seem to mean longer nights at the Capitol – we’ve been working late to make sure we pass measures to protect veterans, provide relief to schools, and end the opioid crisis that’s hurt communities around the state.
Ending the Opioid Crisis
More than 400 Minnesotans died of opioid overdose in 2017, and public officials have been reluctant to make any meaningful change. This is a statewide crisis that has touched nearly everyone in our community in some way.
On Monday I voted for a bill to hold Big Pharma accountable for their role in creating this crisis. Minnesotans shouldn’t have to foot the bill for the tragedy that these companies have inflicted on our communities. The bill would support a wide range of addiction prevention, education, intervention, treatment and recovery strategies, and passed by a 94-34 vote.
Big Pharma has collected billions in profits over the years without paying a dime to help Minnesotans get treatment or help law enforcement keep our communities safe. It’s time they start contributing to the solution. Holding big corporations accountable is the right thing to do and I am proud to support this bill.
You can read more from MPR here and listen to the astonishing story of the family that profits from the opioid crisis from the New York Times here.
Snow Day Relief
This hasn’t just been a difficult winter for farmers. The record snowfall and freezing temperatures have impacted all of us, especially our teachers and students. School districts have had to make the difficult but responsible decision to call snow days, and I’m proud to say that we passed legislation giving them some flexibility in planning and compensating their employees. Schools will be exempt from making up three of the Polar Vortex days. We also included provisions to enable hourly employees who weren’t paid on those days to make up that lost time.
You can read more about snow day relief here.
Hmong Cultural Center
On Wednesday Night the Legacy Finance committee heard my bill to fund Hmong performance, cultural heritage, and history grants. It would provide educational experiences, exhibits, programs, and events that celebrate Hmong culture with programs that focus on modern and traditional Hmong music, dance, ceremonial arts, and history.
These young men and women waited long hours to share their stories about the arts program led by community leader Tou SaiKo Lee. We need to fund this movement to not just preserve, but empower and engage generations to come.
Serving those who serve us
As a legislator and vice chair of the Veterans Affairs Committee, I’m committed to doing everything we can to support the men and women who have risen to the highest level of service to our country.
This week I also had a hearing on my veterans justice bill. It would appropriate money to a program to support, through education, outreach, and legal training, military veterans who are involved with the criminal justice system. This is just one measure I’m working on to make sure our veterans have the support they deserve.
I hope you’re having a great weekend and enjoying the wonderful weather! Please reach out if you have any questions or comments.
Saturday, March 16, 2019Neighbors,
Thanks for taking a minute off from celebrating St. Patrick’s Day to check out a quick update from the Capitol from your state legislator.
I testified in the Legacy Committee on Wednesday about my legislation to provide funding to the Hmong Museum in St. Paul. The money would go towards Hmong heritage programs to provide classes, exhibits, presentations, and outreach about Hmong history and cultural heritage. As a member of the MN Asian Pacific Caucus and the son of Hmong veterans and refugees, I have been building support and awareness around our underrepresented and misunderstood community.
The Hmong Museum is the first and only Hmong museum in the nation. Its mission is to recognize and document the arts, history, personal and family histories, and current issues facing Hmong people in Minnesota.
This week I introduced and spoke on behalf of the “People’s Bill,” which is comprehensive cannabis legalization bill. Speakers, activists and health care professionals spoke on behalf of legalization to benefit public safety, public health, economic development, and social and criminal justice initiatives. Polling shows that Minnesotans are ready for full legalization. It’s the right thing to do.
We have seen a failed century of drug prohibition on a substance that is not shown to be more dangerous than any other product you buy off the counter at a grocery store, drug store or liquor store. We have seen a failed century of drug wars and policies that have not been equally enforced across this country, more heavy-handed in poorer, darker communities.
For a hundred years, we have watched as law enforcement and policymakers enforced certain laws regarding certain drugs in certain communities, while turning a blind eye to certain other drugs and lax enforcement of other communities. The time for this racialized oppressive system of enforcement to end is now. It is this year in the Minnesota House, in our great State of Minnesota.
I want to thank the AmeriCorps Promise Fellows for joining me on Thursday as I shared with my colleagues in the Economic Development Committee how this program impacts underserved communities. I’ve authored H.F. 650 to keep at-risk students in school and on a pathway to graduation so that they’re prepared to join the workforce.
AmeriCorps alumni have become the teachers, counselors, and educators that our communities desperately need. Thank you for joining me, and for helping me advocate for this critical program.
Equity in Workforce Development
I want to thank my colleague Hodan Hassan for leading on H.F. 985, a bill which would appropriate money to the east African community economic development pilot grant program. The grant would go to Youthprise, which would give grants through a competitive process to community organizations to provide economic development services designed to enhance long-term economic self-sufficiency in communities with concentrated east African populations, such as the Twin Cities, Faribault, Rochester, St. Cloud, Moorhead, and Willmar. I’m a proud co-author of the bill.
Don’t forget to sign up for a 1:1 with me! I’d love to hear from you and catch up on what I’ve been doing at the legislature. Please RSVP via: https://goo.gl/forms/rHHEQ0bP60VbrUgX2
As always, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-296-4201, and feel free to stop by my office if you’re ever near the Capitol. Have a great rest of your weekend.
Minnesota women deserve equal rights in all aspects of life. All Minnesotans should have the opportunity to succeed, regardless of gender. That’s why on Thursday, the legislature approved the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) ballot question to let Minnesotans decide whether or not to give everyone full equality under our Constitution. The Republican-controlled Senate is now responsible for determining whether voters will have that opportunity in 2020.
I want to thank my friend Kathleen Murphy and constituent Patty MacDonald, for fighting for this issue. I also want to thank Rep. Mary Kunesh-Podein for championing equality and carrying this bill. I was proud to join my colleagues in voting yes on H.F. 13.
Visiting Minnesotans Where they Are
Last Friday in I had the chance to go to St. Cloud for a field hearing to talk about economic challenges and the workforce shortage in St. Cloud. Economic challenges go far beyond paychecks. It’s about job training, access to affordable housing, and transportation. As we heard in committee, it’s also about child care shortages, supporting our schools and our teachers, and early childhood education. I want to thank all the members of the Somali community who came to speak out about child care shortages, an issue prevalent in communities all across Minnesota.
I had a visit from an amazing group of leaders from Harding High School this week. They came as part of a Youth Energy Summit to advocate for the Green New Deal. Keep up the good fight!
I hope you have a great weekend! Stay safe during our (hopefully) last big snow storm. Please reach out with any questions or concerns.
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