We’re a little over halfway through this year’s legislative session, and early mornings and late evenings of work are starting to become the norm. We’ve recently passed some significant legislation off the House floor, in addition to the important bills we’ve heard in committee. Here’s an update on our work in St. Paul.
Priority Legislation in the Jobs Committee
As Chair of the House Jobs and Economic Development Committee, my colleagues and I are often crafting legislation that impacts working Minnesotans all over the state. This week in committee, we heard testimony on bills that have been highlighted as priorities of the DFL House, including one of my own.
The Paid Family and Medical Leave Act and the Earned Sick and Safe Timelegislation were presented in committee. Both of these bills are crucial in ensuring that workers in Minnesota are allowed time to care for their children, other members of their family, and themselves. They’re pieces of legislation that’ll be able to provide greater economic security for our workers, and I’m glad they got the stamp of approval in the Jobs committee.
Legislation I’ve been working on was heard alongside these bills in committee this week, with this legislation focused on preventing wage theft and enforcing wage protection. Each year, over 39,000 Minnesotans face wage theft by their employers in some form. My bill will stop employers from paying less than the minimum wage, failing to pay overtime, failing to pay for prep time, taking deductions for short breaks, and requiring workers to work “off the clock.” These are unfair practices, and I thank those who will be testified with me in favor of this bill.
Taking On the Opioid Crisis
Over 400 Minnesotans died as a result of opioid overdoses in 2017. That same year, more than 2,000 were rushed to emergency rooms for opioid-involved overdoses. While Minnesotans are suffering, opioid manufactures are seeing record profits, and doing nothing to provide solutions in the opioid crisis.
These reasons are why I voted in favor of HF 400, which would address the opioid crisis in our communities while holding drug manufacturers accountable. You can read more about the bill and our efforts to curb opioid abuse here.
Improving Minnesota’s Sexual Harassment Laws
Another priority of the DFL House this year was to pass legislation updating and improving Minnesota’s sexual harassment laws. Over 80 percent of women report being sexually harassed in the workplace, and the definition of sexual assault in state statute hasn’t been updated in almost 40 years. With bipartisan support, the Minnesota House approved this bill and took another step towards a more equal and just state.
Similar legislation has passed in the Senate, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to get this to Governor Walz’s desk soon. You can read more about this legislation here.
A Budget that Works for Everyone
Our state budget should be a reflection of our values and our goals, and responsible budgeting should be able to balance those with recent economic forecasts. I’m committed to taking action to responsibly fund a state that works better for everyone. The Minnesota House DFL released our budget frameworkthis week, and I look forward to working with the Senate and Governor Walz in finding common ground on how to invest in a better Minnesota.
Stay In Touch
As always, I want to hear from you. If you have any questions or comments on the legislative process, you can reach me at (651) 296-4277, or at email@example.com.