Another busy week at the Capitol is coming to a close. Here’s an update on two bills that passed the House floor recently and some of the work that I’ve been doing in St. Paul.
Equal Rights Amendment
Last week the House passed a proposal to put the Equal Rights Amendment on the ballot in 2020 (HF 13), giving voters the opportunity to decide if it should be added to our state constitution. The ERA would provide equal rights to all Minnesotans under the law, regardless of gender.
The House DFL Caucus is nearly gender balanced. We’ve made a lot of progress towards gender equality, but there’s still work to do. As we recognize Women’s History Month, we’re also celebrating our trailblazing women legislators and other leaders. I look forward to working with them to build a Minnesota that works better for all of us.
Veterans Suicide Awareness
On Monday, the House unanimously approved legislation to designate the first Saturday of every October as Veteran Suicide Awareness Day (HF 586). Veterans face unique mental health challenges and unfortunately are 1.5 times more likely to end their own lives than civilians. I’m committed to increasing public awareness of this issue and providing better mental health support to the brave men and women who serve our country while they are on active duty and after their service ends.
Arts Advocacy Day
Arts and culture are rooted in our values as Minnesotans. Advocates from across the state gathered at the Capitol on Tuesday to talk about the importance of art in their lives and urge legislators to back funding for the arts. The Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund, one of the four components of the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment, supports many programs for arts access and education. I was honored to speak at the rally and inspired to continue my efforts to preserve and enhance Minnesota’s cultural heritage.
Battle Creek Winter Recreation
Thousands of Minnesotans use Battle Creek Regional Park each year for biking, sledding, skiing, and more. I’ve introduced legislation to invest in needed upgrades and construct a winter recreation area with a 2.5 kilometer cross-country ski trail (HF 1481). It would also include a marker to commemorate Jessie Diggins, an exceptional Olympic athlete from Minnesota. It’s my hope that the trail would inspire future Olympians to follow in her footsteps.
As always, please feel free to contact me with your questions, feedback, and concerns. I also encourage you to follow my new Facebook page for the latest information on what’s going on at the Capitol.