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Legislative News and Views - Rep. John Thompson (DFL)

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Legislative Update - Priorities for Session

Friday, February 19, 2021


Dear Neighbors, 

We’re over a month into the legislative session, and our work at the state capitol is in full swing. Committees are hearing legislation, bills are passing off the House floor, and earlier this month the United Black Legislative Caucus announced our priorities for the 2021 legislative session - priorities that not only lift up Black Minnesotans, but our state as a whole. When Minnesota bounces back from the COVID-19 pandemic, we need to make sure that recovery doesn’t leave anyone behind.


You can follow the work of the United Black Legislative Caucus on our Facebook page, and you can watch the announcement of our priorities here



Effective Substance Abuse Treatment

This week, I successfully advanced my first bill through committee that would provide a 5 percent rate increase for substance use disorder treatment services provided by culturally responsive programs. Minnesotans from all walks of life struggle with substance abuse, and while seeking treatment can be a difficult step, it’s made all the easier when that help is coming from someone that understands an individual’s background.

Effective treatment isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution, and this legislation would better ensure those who are struggling are able to get the help that’s right for them. To be eligible for the rate increase, programs serving special populations must be designed to address the unique needs of individuals who share a common language, racial, ethnic, or social background. You can watch that bill hearing here



Legalizing Cannabis for Adult-Use

Legislation I’m co-authoring was recently introduced that would legalize, expunge, and regulate adult-use cannabis in Minnesota. It’s long past time that our state passes smart, responsible cannabis legislation that rectifies the disproportionate impacts our current laws have on communities of color. 

Cannabis Graphic 2

Minnesota’s current prohibition on cannabis is doing more harm than good, and as more states begin to reap the benefits of legalization and expunging nonviolent crimes, Minnesota is being left behind. You can read more about this legislation and its prospects at the State Capitol this year here



The Democracy for All Minnesotans Act

Recently, we saw our country narrowly pass its toughest test yet for our democracy. It’s too often the case that our elections system disenfranchises minority communities - the same communities that turned out in droves to decide the 2020 elections. It’s time we made our democracy more inclusive, and therefore stronger, and the House DFL’s Democracy for All Minnesotans Act will do just that. 

This legislation would ensure state and local elections officials can access the critical federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) funds they need for election security and infrastructure; establish more ballot drop box and return sites; and restore the right to vote for those returning from prison. 

It’s time for a democracy that works for all Minnesotans - no matter your race, age, region, or party.



Stay Connected

The Minnesota House webpage remains the best source for daily legislative schedules, and we’ve added new livestreams to ensure all of our official work can be viewed remotely. You can also visit my legislative page for the latest on my work and how to contact me. I also invite you to “like” and follow my new official Facebook page.

The best way to reach out to me with any questions or comments is by email at, or by calling me at (651) 296-4277. Also, please feel free to share and subscribe to these legislative updates, which you can do here. I look forward to hearing from you. 



John Thompson

State Representative, 67A