February is Black History Month
Monday, February 01, 2021
The beginning of February marks an important time for all of us to reflect on Black History Month. Here's the statement my DFL POCI Caucus members and I released today:
“It is important that we take this month to not only remember and celebrate the rich and meaningful history of Black people in our nation, but to take time to consider the future of Black lives. Black history is being written as we speak, from the incredible organization of Black voters in the 2020 election which resulted in the first female Vice President of color, to the ongoing cries for reform from the historic Black Lives Matter movement. There remains a harrowing distance between the level of Black excellence in this nation, and level of systemic racism that perpetuates cycles of discrimination and increased disparities. Let this be the Black History Month where we choose to elevate Black voices and value Black lives forever more. Let this month, and every month after, be the months where we fight to create a future where Black lives can be lived fully without the burden of oppression, racism, and inequity.”
Today, House Majority Leader Winkler and DFL lawmakers introduced adult-use cannabis legislation that will address criminal justice inequities created by our current system and allow law enforcement to focus on more serious issues.
The adult-use cannabis bill would create a responsible regulatory structure focused on developing micro-businesses and a craft market; expunge most cannabis convictions; fund public health awareness, youth access prevention, and substance abuse treatment; provide grants, loans, technical assistance, and training for small businesses; require testing and labeling of products; restrict packaging based on dosage size; and allow limited home grow abilities.
I’ve been a longtime advocate and fierce supporter of legalizing adult-use cannabis legalization, which is why I’m proud to co-sponsor the measure. You can read more about the bill here.
Ramsey County Small Business Relief Fund now accepting applicationsRamsey County Small Business Relief Fund is accepting applications from self-employed entrepreneurs or local businesses with 75 or fewer employees. Grants will provide emergency assistance to those adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Applications will be open until this Friday, Feb. 5. More information is available here.
Select Committee on Racial Justice releases final reportThe Minnesota House established the Select Committee on Racial Justice last year after the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers. On January 25, committee co-chairs Rena Moran and Ruth Richardson presented a final report to the Ways and Means committee with recommendations for addressing systemic racism. More specifically, the report calls on the Legislature to act to dismantle racism through a series of policy recommendations in areas such as economic development, housing, education, public safety, health and human services, and environmental justice.
I’m glad to see efforts are underway in the Minnesota House to close equity gaps. Click here to read the full report.
Governor Walz announces COVID-19 Recovery BudgetOn January 26, Governor Tim Walz unveiled a new two-year budget proposal that aims to help students, families, and small businesses recover from the pandemic. Speaker Hortman and Majority Leader Winkler issued statements of support. My DFL colleagues and I are committed to passing a budget that meets Minnesotans’ needs and builds back better from the pandemic.
Much of the Governor’s COVID-19 Recovery Budget align with our goals in the House DFL.
Our first priorities for 2021 are to respond to the needs of Minnesotans hurt most by the pandemic. Last week, my colleagues unveiled our latest proposals to help Minnesotans who are risking the most to keep all of us healthy and safe. Rep. Frazier announced his bill to provide 100 hours of paid emergency leave for essential workers; Rep. Wolgamott rolled out his bill to protect the health and safety of Minnesotans who work in meat and poultry processing plants; and Rep. Schultz introduced her bill to create the MinnesotaCare public option.
These are all important lifelines for working Minnesotans, and I will continue to support them as they move through the committee process.
Keep in TouchThank you, always, for contacting me to share your input and questions. Please continue emailing and calling anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-296-4201 to let me know how I can help.
It’s an honor to serve our Eastside residents and families in the Minnesota House of Representatives.
Have a great week.