Neighbors and Friends,
Legislative action has ramped up again this week as we near our last committee deadline approaching on March 31. Our days are filled with constituent group visits, daytime and evening committee hearings and floor sessions. Here is an update from the Capitol:
BBC Dad vs. MNLeg Dad
Recently a college professor was interviewed by the BBC when his children walked into the room. The video went viral because as anyone with kids knows, life is unpredictable. Last week I found myself in a similar situation.
I found out last minute that daycare for my son, Joseph, was closed. I am very fortunate that I was able to bring him to St. Paul while I presented one of my bills to the Job Growth and Energy Affordability Policy and Finance committee. The entire committee really enjoyed having him there and Joseph created some lighthearted moments climbing over me while the committee considered my bill. You can watch the video here.
House Budget Targets Released
House Republicans announced their budget targets this week; the final piece needed for committees to craft the budget for the next two years. Budget decisions should put Minnesotans first and prepare for uncertainty at the federal level. Unfortunately, the Republican budget makes will make life more difficult for the working poor, the middle class, and students by making deep cuts to health and human services, underfunding education, and providing tax giveaways for the owners of corporations.
We’re still waiting for details in most budget areas, and I’ll keep advocating for common sense and responsible proposals that invest in the areas that have made Minnesota’s economy strong, like education.
For-Profit Prison Bill
Tuesday, the House Public Safety and Security Policy and Finance Committee heard HF 1510, a bill to allow Minnesota to conduct business with for-profit prison corporations like Corrections Corporation of America (recently rebranded to “CoreCivic”). The bill would require Minnesota to buy or lease the for-profit prison facility owned by Corrections Corporation of America in Appleton, MN.
There are a host of issues with for-profit prisons, including weakened safety and security, and adverse effects on low-income Minnesotans and people of color. We should be looking at ways to help Minnesotans reform their lives, instead of incentivizing corporations to throw more people in jail to make money.
Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns about the legislative session. Your input matters to me.