It’s a busy time at the Minnesota Legislature! We are fighting to advance several bills that will help Minnesotans recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and thrive after it ends. In addition, we are starting the process of crafting the state budget.
Last week, the Judiciary Finance and Civil Law Committee heard a bill I authored that prohibits employers from inquiring about past pay (HF 403). States that have passed similar policies have seen an eight percent increase in pay for women and a 13 percent increase for Black workers. I’m happy to report that the committee voted to advance this legislation.
The Housing Committee also heard bills I wrote last week. One (HF 398) establishes that heat must be supplied in apartments during the winter months and allows tenants to request emergency repairs in court, while another (HF 399) prohibits landlords from imposing certain fees, restricts landlord entry, and increases the penalty for improper entry. A third bill (HF 400) allows tenants to terminate their lease if they need to move into a medical care facility. The committee voted to advance all three tenant protection bills.
Governor Walz’s Budget Proposal
Governor Walz recently released his budget proposal for the next two years. Called the COVID-19 Recovery Budget, the proposal focuses on supporting working families, ensuring students catch up on learning, and helping small businesses stay afloat while driving Minnesota’s economic recovery. Over the next few weeks, we’ll review the details of his plan and develop our own budget proposal.
Despite what my Republican colleagues might say, we can’t cut our way out of the pandemic. Investing in Minnesotans will make our state stronger and help families, businesses, and communities build back better.
Defending and Strengthening Our Democracy
During my last town hall with Rep. Dave Pinto and Sen. Erin Murphy, several community members mentioned an interest in the Democracy for the People Act, legislation that House DFLers introduced to defend and strengthen our democracy. The bill (HF 9) aims to build a strong, inclusive democracy that is responsive to the needs and voices of Minnesotans by:
Supporting Earned Sick and Safe Time
COVID-19 has shown us that people who are forced to work when they’re ill can put their own health and the health of everyone around them at risk. Unfortunately, many Minnesotans work in jobs that don’t provide paid time off. This puts them in the impossible position of choosing between a paycheck and their health.
This session, I’m supporting a bill that would expand Earned Sick and Safe Time (HF 7). This legislation ensures workers earn at least one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked, up to at least 48 hours a year. It’s a commonsense measure that would give all Minnesotans time to take care of themselves and their loved ones.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a call at 651-296-8799. I look forward to hearing from you!