Tuesday, April 30, 2019Minnesota Asian Pacific Caucus
Minnesota House of Representatives
Minnesota House Passes Measure to Create Hmong Veterans Day
ST. PAUL, MN – The Minnesota House today unanimously passed a provision championed by Minnesota's Asian Pacific Caucus to create a state holiday recognizing Hmong veterans who served in the U.S. Vietnam War. The Senate has passed Sen. Foung Hawj's companion bill.
"It falls upon my four colleagues of Hmong descent and me to do what we can to soothe the restless spirits of America's Secret War Veterans and their families, to give them a day of recognition for their suffering and their sacrifices," said Rep. Tou Xiong (DFL - Maplewood). "This amendment seeks to remind Americans and Minnesotans that the United States and this chamber is a country and legislative body that does not forget its friends, especially friends that fought alongside American soldiers for the values this great nation stands for."
May 14 of each year will be designated as Hmong-Lao Veterans Memorial Day in honor of Southeast Asians, Americans, and their allies who served, sacrificed, or died in the Secret War in Laos during the Vietnam War in support of the United States. May 14 was the last day of airlift evacuation of officers and their families from the covert headquarters in Long Tieng, Laos, to the Nam Phong refugee camp in Thailand. At least 35,000 Hmong Special Guerrilla Unit soldiers lost their lives protecting American troops.
Video of Rep. Xiong's remarks is available here.
The MAP Caucus members include Assistant Majority Leader Fue Lee (DFL - Minneapolis), MAP Caucus Chair Samantha Vang (DFL - Brooklyn Park) Rep. Kaohly Her (DFL- St. Paul), Rep. Tou Xiong (DFL - Maplewood), Rep. Jay Xiong (DFL- St. Paul), and Sen. Foung Hawj (DFL - St. Paul).
Sunday, April 28, 2019
This week has been hectic, long, and rewarding. Primarily because I won "who wore it best," three days in a row.
Joking aside, we passed budgets this week on our committee bills on health care, E-12 education, jobs, energy, agriculture, and housing. We worked tirelessly to vet and vote on these bills to improve the lives of ALL Minnesotans, and give everyone a fair shot to succeed.
E-12 Education The Minnesota House passed the E-12 education (HF1711) budget late Tuesday night. Under the bill, the St. Paul School District would receive approximately $600 in additional funding per student. Teachers and students are one of Minnesota’s greatest strengths and our students are our biggest investment for the future. Every child in Minnesota, no matter where they live or the barriers they face, deserves a great education
Minnesota struggles with one of the largest achievement gaps in the country. By including mental health support, providing funding to recruit and retain teachers of color and Indigenous teachers, along with the community support provided in this bill, we are working hard to change that. Our education investment will improve the lives and the opportunities afforded to our kids, to our neighbor’s kids, and to students around the state.
I was proud to vote for the Health and Human Services budget late Thursday night. It strengthens health care for all Minnesotans by lowering the cost of care, making drug prices more affordable by holding Big Pharma accountable, addressing health disparities, improving health care for women, and expanding coverage options for Minnesotans.The House DFL’s HHS budget addresses our state’s unacceptable health disparities. It increases funding for the Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) for the first time in 33 years.
It also invests in cultural competency for mental health services, increases funding for child protection in our tribal communities, and includes grants to improve child development outcomes for children of color and American Indian children. Women’s health is strengthened through increases in family planning access, greater access to birth control, coverage for breast cancer screenings, sexual assault prevention grants, and doula services for Minnesotans with low incomes. The proposal also ensures mental health parity, as well as periodontal disease and asthma coverage for those with low incomes.
Jobs & Energy
This week (late in the night) the House passed the Jobs and Energy budget (HF 2208). It includes access to paid family and medical leave, earned sick and safe time for all Minnesotans, tougher protections for the 39,000 Minnesotans who report wage theft every year, and a pathway to adopt 100 percent carbon-free energy by 2050.
Included in the bill is Rep. Richardson's amendment to create a workgroup and incentivize utilities to increase diversity in the workplace and actual spending for female-owned, minority-owned, veteran-owned and small business enterprises. Energy is one of the key industries impacting economic development. Starting the conversation about encouraging a diverse workforce is about creating an equitable and healthy energy sector that benefits all communities in Minnesota.
Busy day, but had to step out for a visit with my former TRiO SSS Academic Advisor Joy Kluttz-Horton to talk work place diversity and inclusion!
Minnesotans are rightfully demanding that we take responsible environmental action right now and for generations to come. This budget makes sense for our environment and for our economy; creates jobs while protecting our water, air and land. The House DFL is listening to the overwhelming science that confirms that climate change is real and caused by humans. I was disappointed when the Republican response on the floor to the statement, "The Legislature finds and declares that greenhouse gas emissions resulting from human activities are they key cause of climate change," was to vote, almost unanimously, to deny climate change.
Thank you for following along. Please let me know if there are ways I can better serve you, and have a great rest of your weekend.
State Representative - District 67B
Minnesota Asian Pacific Caucus
Minnesota House of Representatives
ST. PAUL, MN – Minnesota's Asian Pacific Caucus today released the following statement in response to this weekend's terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka.
"Minnesota's Asian Pacific Caucus condemns the terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka over the weekend. We must join hands to root out the forces of evil and terror in all corners of the world. We stand with our Sri Lankan constituents in Minnesota as they mourn those who were killed or wounded, and will do all we can to support the community here."
The MAP Caucus members include Assistant Majority Leader Fue Lee (DFL - Minneapolis), MAP Caucus Chair Samantha Vang (DFL - Brooklyn Park), Rep. Kaohly Her (DFL- St. Paul), Rep. Tou Xiong (DFL - Maplewood), Rep. Jay Xiong (DFL- St. Paul), and Sen. Foung Hawj (DFL - St. Paul).
Legislative Update - April 20, 2019
Saturday, April 20, 2019
A Capitol update is available in Hmong here, Somali here, and Spanish here.
Thursday marked my 100th day in office. It's a milestone that I'm celebrating by catching up with constituents to make sure I'm doing everything I can at the Capitol to bring our community's issues forward. The legislature is not in session this week - here's an update on what I've been up to.
One of my campaign messages was to engage people beyond the election and to be accessible. I'm delivering on that, and got lots of great feedback on the doors this week. You have shared with me your support for the Green New Deal, improving our infrastructure to attract businesses, fight for stronger education outcomes for St. Paul kids and teachers, protecting wolves, getting a better healthcare system for working Minnesotans, making college more affordable, doing more for our aging population and healthcare workforce especially those in nursing and assisted living homes, and the want to end prohibition on cannabis! I'm ready to get back to the Capitol next week and make sure the voices of our neighbors are heard!
Happy Lao & Thai New Year
I attended a ceremony at Wat Sirijunhandas in our district to celebrate Lao-Thai New Year. Thank you to Uncle Charles Vue and Apichart Klaysingha for having me be part of the blessing for the monks and speaking to our neighbors.
This week I met with state leaders about the Pig's Eye dump site. Pig's Eye is a 230-acre site that had roughly 8.3 million cubic yards of waste deposited on it from 1956-1972. We're looking into whether the federal government can chip in on the $700 million clean up project. I look forward to holding a public hearing on the issue during the summer and in the meantime, you can read more information from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency here.
Stand with Ilhan
It is dangerous that our president attacked a sitting Member of Congress. This week he took her remarks out of context by releasing manipulated footage of her speech. This brings public discourse in our country to dangerous new lows - Congresswoman Omar received death threats after the tweet. It is one thing to disagree with a Member of Congress in a civil manner. But it is abject character assassination and racism when you purposely deal in deception and attack a person by remixing their words out of context.
Trump's ban on transgender troops from the military went into effect this week. The President has chosen to exclude the brave men and women in uniform, and those who wish to join their ranks, from the most honorable and sacred duty to their nation, to serve in defense of our country. He is expressly discriminating transgender persons under his command and those who wish to serve under it. I have a renewed commitment to doing everything I can to make sure at the state level, all Minnesotans are included, counted, welcomed and supported.
Have a great weekend, and please reach out with any comments, questions or ideas!
Nyob zoo Sawvdaws!
Ib qho haujlwm kuv ua uas tseem ceeb tshaj yog kuv pab sau xeev Minnesota tsab ntawv faib nyiaj siv los mus them cov tsev kawm ntawv, cov kev pabcuam pejxeem, thiab ntau ntxiv. Lub lim tiam no, kuv tau pab tshaj tawm txog ib feem tshiab ntawm lub xeev qhov kev lag luam uas ua rau peb lub xeev ua haujlwm zoo rau txhua tus neeg, tsis hais txog koj qhov chaw nyob lossis koj zoo li cas.
Nyiaj Rau Kev Thauj Tsheb Thauj Mus Los
Peb daim ntawv tshiab faib nyiaj rau kev thauj mus los muaj kev ntseeg ncaj ncees los kho peb cov kev, cov choj, thiab cov tsheb npav. Yog tsis muaj cov nyiaj tshiab, Minnesota yuav txua kev npav lossis luv train ntxiv tsis tau, lossis kho tsis tau cov kev uas paus lawm. Peb tsuas tau yam uas peb them xwb, thiab muaj ntau ntau xyoo dhau los lawm es tsis tau kho cov kev zoo. Tam sim no yog lub sij hawm kho kev thiab tso nyiaj rau cov tsheb npav, kom cov neeg nyob hauv Minnesota muaj kev ruaj ntseg, thiab xyuas kom lawv muaj kev xaiv kom tau mus ua haujlwm, mus teem caij kho mob, mus khw yauv khoom, thiab lwm qhov chaw.
Nyiaj Rau Kev Noj Qab Haus Huv thiab Kev Pab Tib Neeg
Peb tsab ntawv faib nyiaj kho mob thiab kev noj qab haus huv zoo heev rau txhua tus neeg hauv Minnesota. Nws pab cov nqi kho mob qis dua, ua cov nqi yuav tshuaj qis dua, hais txog kev tsis sib haum xeeb rau kev noj qab nyob zoo, nrhiav kev pab poj niam zoo tshaj yav dhau los, thiab nrhiav kev pab them nqi kho mob rau cov neeg hauv Minnesota. Qhov tseem ceeb tshaj plaws, peb tsab ntawv faib nyiaj tiv thaiv qhov Health Care Access Fund, uas tau pab ntau tshaj li 1,000,000 tus neeg nyob hauv Minnesota. Txua ntxiv mus, tsab ntawv no tsim tau cov kevcai tshiab los tivthaiv cov txwj laus thiab cov neeg laus uas tau raug tsim txom thiab cov tsev laus uas tsis saib xyuas zoo.
Nyiaj Faid Kev Kawm Qib Siab
Peb tsab ntawv faib nyiaj rau kev kawm ntawv qib siab rau Minnesota cov public college thiab university yuav tsis pub nqi kawm ntawv nce rau ob xyoos. Thiab yauv nthuav Minnesota cov kev pub nyiaj dawb ntau dua rau cov menyuam kawm ntawv full-time thiab part-time. Cov tsev kawm ntawv qib siab plaub-xyoos thiab ob-xyoos, thiab cov tsev kawm ntse/technical schools yog cov uas yauv pab neeg kom muaj hauj lwm thiab pab peb cov phooj ywg thiab cov pej xeem sawvdaws nrog cov kev txawj ntse thiab kev paub uas yuav tsum txhawb lawv tsev neeg.
Mam li sib ntsib dua thiab kuv mam li xa ntawv dua.
Reer Minnesota, Waa Aan Idin Ssalaamay!
Haddii aan ahay wakiilkaaga gobolka shaqooyinkayga ugu muhiimsan waxa ka mid ah in aan wax ka qoro kharashaadka cusub ee ku baxi doona iskuulladeena, barnaamijyada dadweynaha ee daryeelka caafimaadka iyo kuwo kale oo badan. Asbuucan, waxa aan ka qayb qaatay baahinta qayb ka mid ah dhaqaalaha ku bixi doona gobolka kaas oo ka dhigaya gobolkeenna mid si quman ula shaqaynaya qof walba, iyada oo aan la eegayn halka uu ku noolyahay ama sida uu u egyahay toona. Waa ii sharaf in aan idinla wadaago xog kooban oo ku saabsan qaybaha dhaqaalaha.
Qof walba oo reer Minnesota ahi waa uu u qalmaa in uu helo guri jaban oo lagu nabadgeli karo, laakiin in badan ayaan weli fursaddaas haysan. Kharashka cusub ee loogu talogalay guriyeynta jabani waxa uu suurtagelinayaa in la helo maalgelinta loo baahan yahay si loo kordhiyo helitaanka guryo jaban, loona geliyo awood badan gacanta dadka kireystayaasha ah iyo in horumar laga sameeyo sidii loo ciribtiri lahaa darbi jiifnimada iyo guryo la’aanta.
Kobcinta Dhaqaallaha iyo Shaqooyinka
Labada qaybood ee ugu muhiimsan kharashka kobcinta dhaqaalaha iyo shaqadu waa in qof walba oo reer Minnesota ahi uu fursad u helo in la siiyo mushaarkiisa marka uu u Baxo Fasax Caafimaad ama Mid Qoys uuna Xaq u Yeesho Wakhti u Urura oo uu u Adeegsado Xilliyada Baahida Caafimaad ay ku timaaddo. Labada qorshaba waxa ay u oggolaanayaan reer Minnesota in ay shaqada fasax ka qaataan iyaga oo uu mushaarkoodu u socdo haddii iyaga ama qof ka mid ah qoysaskooda ay la soo deristo xaallad caafimaad, isbitaal la dhigo ama ay ilmo dhashay daryeelayaan. Arrintani waa mid muhiim ah oo awood dheeri ah siinaysa shaqaallaha si ay ugu noolaadaan nolol sharfan.
Maalgelinta waxbarashada dadweynuhu lama ayan jaanqaadin hoos u dhaca dhaqaallaha. Taas oo sabatay in shaqada laga saaro macallimiin, fasalladii oo ardayda fadhida tiradoodu korortay iyo ardaydii u baahnayd oo aan helin kaalmo ku filan. Waxa aan aamminsanahay in carruurteenna oo dhami ay u baahan yihiin in ay helaan waxbarsho tayo leh, iyada oo aan loo eegayn halka ay kaga nool yihiin gobolkeenna. Waana arrintaas sababta aan u taageerayo in la helo kharash lagu maalgeliyo arday walba oo ku jira dugsi walba oo iskuullada dadweynaha ka mid ah. Weliba, dhammaan reer Minnesota waxa ay u qalmaan in ay helaan tababar shaqo iyo mid waxbarasho si ay u helaan shaqooyin macaash-badan leh. Minnesota waxa ay il gaar ah ku eegaysaa sidii loo xakameyn lahaa kharashaadka ay jaamicadaha iyo machadyadu ka qaadaan ardayda – si loo joojiyo kororka deymaha machadyada waxbarashada sare.
Dib ayaan idiinkaga soo sheegi doonaa wixii ka soo kordha Golaha Sharci-dejinta asbuuca dambe.
Rep. Jay Xiong
Uno de mis trabajos más importantes como representante de su estado es ayudar a redactar un nuevo presupuesto estatal para pagar colectivamente nuestras escuelas, programas de médica pública y mucho más. Esta semana, ayudé a anunciar partes de un nuevo presupuesto estatal que hace que nuestro estado funcione mejor para todos, sin importar dónde viva o cómo se vea.
Presupuesto de transporte
Nuestro nuevo presupuesto de transporte hace inversiones buenas para reparar nuestras carreteras, puentes y tránsito. Sin nuevos ingresos, Minnesota no podrá ampliar el servicio de transporte público ni realizar las mejoras necesarias para desmoronar la infraestructura. Obtenemos lo que pagamos, y después de tantos años de no invertir, ahora es el momento de llevar nuestro sistema de transporte al siglo 21, mantener seguros a los Minnesotanos y asegurarnos de que tengan opciones confiables para viajar al trabajo, a la escuela, a los médicos citas, la tienda de comestibles, y otros lugares.
Presupuesto de salud y servicios humanos
Nuestro nuevo presupuesto de servicios humanos y de salud fortalece la atención médica para todos los habitantes de Minnesota, al reducir el costo, hacer que los precios de los medicamentos sean más asequibles y responsabilizar a Big Pharma, abordar las disparidades de salud, mejorar la atención médica para las mujeres y ampliar las opciones de cobertura para los habitantes de Minnesota. Lo más importante es que nuestro presupuesto protege el Fondo de acceso a la atención médica, del cual dependen más de un millón de habitantes de Minnesota para recibir una cobertura asequible y de alta calidad. El presupuesto también crea nuevas reglas para proteger a los ancianos y adultos vulnerables del abuso y la negligencia en las instalaciones de vivienda asistida.
Presupuesto de educación post secundaria
Nuestro nuevo presupuesto de educación post secundaria congela la matrícula en los colegios y universidades públicas de Minnesota durante dos años. También amplía nuestro programa de becas estatales, lo que resultará en una mayor asistencia financiera para los estudiantes a tiempo completo y parcial. Los colegios universitarios, universidades y escuelas técnicas de cuatro y dos años son activos que ayudan a formar una fuerza laboral sólida y brindan a nuestros amigos y vecinos las habilidades y el conocimiento necesarios para encontrar empleo y apoyar a sus familias.
Estaré en contacto con más información sobre la Legislatura la próxima semana.
Rep. Jay Xiong
Legislative Update - April 13, 2019
Saturday, April 13, 2019
I think the only good news about this weather is that I’ve hardly had time to notice it – we’ve been busy at the legislature putting together our committees’ final budgets. We’re putting in long hours and days for you, and I’m proud of the work we’ve done! Here’s an update.
ACLU Day on the Hill
Wednesday was the American Civil Liberties Union Day on the Hill. I was proud to stand with them as they advocated for the freedom of all Minnesotans to earn their driver’s licenses. The house passed this measure last week, and I urge our Senate counterparts to do the same. This bill is about dignity, safety, and compassion.
We also talked about restoring the right to vote for people who have paid for their mistakes. It is time Minnesota joined the 14 states (and District of Columbia) that allow felons to vote upon their release from prison
Our ultimate goal as a state should be to enact strong election measures that encourage voter turnout and broaden the base of participation, while scrupulously protecting voters’ rights and ensuring honest and fair elections.
Howling for Wolves
I want to thank everyone who came to the capitol from Howling for Wolves to advocate for an end to wolf hunting! I support House File 1327, which would eliminate wolf hunting season in Minnesota. Minnesota’s gray wolves are currently federally protected under the federal Endangered Species.
As a proud member of the House Judiciary Finance and Civil Law Committee, I’m proud of our new two-year budget. The budget helps ensure all Minnesotans can access justice, fully enjoy their civil rights, and can be treated with dignity and respect in their communities.
To address Minnesota’s significant disparities regarding education, employment, and economic opportunity, the budget funds increased resources for the Department of Human Rights, including three new offices throughout the state.
I also sit on the Legacy Committee and on Thursday we passed our budget through committee unanimously. Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund expenditures support the arts, arts education, and arts access and preserve Minnesota’s history and cultural heritage. I’m proud that this bill supports Hmong cultural events and programming grants; Somali community and museum cultural grants; and grants to preserve Dakota & Ojibwe languages and increase Native educational and immersion efforts. The legacy bill takes important steps to uplifting and preserving Minnesota’s diverse communities.
Last weekend I got to meet with the Owens, Eastsiders who do animation work and shared with me about the need to create more opportunities in the entertainment industry in our state. I am proud to share the House Jobs & Economic Division made appropriations for the TV & Films Board.
Education and Taxes
On Monday, we announced our tax bill, which closes corporate tax loopholes and allows us to lower taxes for families and individuals.
3/4 of the revenue raised from corporations will go into E-12 education. The remaining fourth will go into higher education and allow for a two-year tuition freeze. Minnesotans have been telling the Legislature for years that the state’s commitment to our schools has not kept pace with inflation, leading to layoffs and local referendums for property taxpayers to fund just the basics. By targeting corporate tax havens and making sure big corporations pay their fair share, the investments in our schools that Minnesotans want are possible.
That’s it from me! We’re on Easter/Passover break next week before we head into the final few weeks of session. Have a great rest of your weekend.
Saturday, April 13, 2019POCI Caucus Statement in Response to President Trump's Attack on Congresswoman Ilhan Omar
ST. PAUL, MN – Minnesota's People of Color and Indigenous Caucus today released the following statement today in response to President Trump's recent Tweet attacking Ilhan Omar.
"As Congresswoman Ilhan Omar’s friends and former colleagues, we have seen her fight for justice, equity, and peace. President Trump’s recent tweets are in direct opposition to those values, as Congresswoman Omar’s words are repeatedly taken out of context in order to insult, degrade, and dehumanize her. These racist, Islamophobic attacks cannot be tolerated.
"The President’s words and posts are an incitement of violence against a sitting Member of Congress. As Minnesota’s People of Color and Indigenous Caucus, we denounce these attacks and stand with Ilhan. We encourage all other elected leaders, in Minnesota and elsewhere, to join us in condemning these hateful attacks."
The People of Color & Indigenous (POCI) Caucus includes Reps. Jamie Becker-Finn (42B), Aisha Gomez (62B), Hodan Hassan (62A), Kaohly Her (64A), Mary Kunesh-Podein (41B), Fue Lee (59A), Alice Mann (56B), Carlos Mariani (65B), Rena Moran (65A), Mohamud Noor (60B), Ruth Richardson (52B), Samantha Vang (40B), Jay Xiong (67B), Tou Xiong (53B), and Sens. Melisa Franzen (49), Foung Hawj (67), Jeff Hayden (62), Bobby Joe Champion (59), and Patricia Torres-Ray (63).
Saturday, April 06, 2019
Even if my bracket doesn’t survive Final Four weekend, we have a lot to celebrate in news from the Capitol.
Driver’s Licenses for All
Yesterday, the Minnesota House finally debated and passed a bill to ensure equality and safety on our roads. No one should fear separation from their families for something as simple as driving to work or to the doctor. It was long the law that you didn’t need to show proof of citizenship to get a driver’s license, until then-Gov. Tim Pawlenty changed the rule in 2003. HF 1500 would make sure that no one is excluded from getting a license (or insurance) – this will increase insured drivers on the road and allow more Minnesotans to live safe, productive lives. I was glad to see support from law enforcement, the business community, labor unions, people of faith and community groups.
State of the State
On Wednesday night, Gov. Tim Walz came to the House chamber to give his first State of the State address. He told the story of Minnesotans who inspired his priorities, and who, because they have come forward to tell their stories, are helping shape our state government.
Jobs & Economic Development
On Thursday, the House Jobs and Economic Development Committee announced its budget priorities. Highlights of the bill include several pieces of legislation the House DFL identified as top priorities at the start of this legislative session. The Paid Family Leave Act (HF 5) and Earned Sick and Safe Time (HF 11) are included in this bill. Together, they ensure that Minnesotans are allowed time off work to care not only for their children and other members of their family, but also themselves.
Another priority bill included in the House Jobs budget is Rep. Mahoney’s legislation to establish and enforce wage theft prevention (HF 6). With 39,000 Minnesotans experiencing wage theft in some form every year, this bill would protect wages and hold employers accountable when they take advantage of workers.
Other key pieces of legislation in the Jobs omnibus finance bill include:
On Monday, the Highwood Hills Community Recreation Center on the Eastside opened to the public – a project that was 11 years in the making. It was closed in 2008 due to budget cuts. Spaces like this helps Eastsiders be part of the St. Paul community. Staffed youth spaces are constructive and have demonstrated that they cut down on run-ins with the law. This is a place for our kids to play and learn, and I’m grateful for the leadership of Council Member Jane Prince, Somali Parents Advisory Council member Amin Omar, and Mayor Melvin Carter.
Have a great rest of your weekend! Please reach out if you have any questions for me.