Friday, May 10, 2019
The House DFL carefully put together and passed a budget that will increase access to affordable housing, protect and expand access to affordable health care, address climate change, invest in our schools, provide for common-sense gun safety measures, fix our roads and bridges, and lift up our communities.
So far, the Senate has just said "no," refusing to compromise. I mean, just look at the funding differences between the House and Senate on education for St. Paul students:
As the Star Tribune wrote in an editorial this week, we did not get elected to "pit sick people against schoolchildren" by sacrificing health coverage to pay for our schools. I urge you to contact Senate Republicans and ask them to come to the negotiating table.
While we've broken into committees to try to come to compromise, we've also been passing additional measures on the House floor.
We passed a Housing Policy bill on the floor this week. There is a growing affordable housing crisis in Minnesota - in our budget we invest in everything from homelessness, rental assistance programs, housing preservation, new development and affordable homeownership. The Housing policy bill contains provisions that strengthen tenant’s rights and ensure mutuality in their relationship with their landlords; modify expungements for evictions cases; and require longer affordability for state financed housing projects. Everyone in Minnesota deserves a safe home, that they can afford.
Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women
American Indian women face murder rates that are more than 10 times the national average. It's the third-leading cause of death for Native women. Nobody knows exactly how many are victims of violence, and nobody knows exactly how many women go missing across the nation.
Yesterday my colleagues unanimously passed a bill to create a state task force to address the endemic of missing and murdered Indigenous women in Minnesota. Behind every victim of violence was a family and community that marched, spoke out, and fought for change at the Capitol, and I was proud to be among my colleagues who voted unanimously for it to pass.
Equal Rights Amendment
Today we voted on, and passed, a resolution memorializing Congress to remove the deadline for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. The Amendment would add gender equality to our Constitution, and affirm our fundamental values of fairness. Women have faced historic and current barriers in achieving equal pay, reproductive choice, and access to economic independence - gender equality under the constitution is long overdue.
Yesterday we voted in four new members of the University's governing board: Janie Mayeron for the 5th Congressional District; Mike Kenyanya for the Student At-Large seat; and Kao Ly Her and Mary Davenport for the Statewide At-Large seats. I recognize how important it is for the members of the governing board to reflect the diversity of our state and our students, and I applaud our colleagues for approving a diverse, qualified slate of new regents. My POCI colleagues and I fought for more diverse representation in the university, and in high schools, and this is a step in the right direction.
Thanks for reading, and have a great weekend!
Sincerely,Rep. Jay Xiong