We’ve been through a lot in the past few weeks, and I’m grateful to be hearing from many of you with thoughts on the overturning of federal abortion rights, the gun violence epidemic, and many other important issues. It is clear that the Supreme Court is extreme and unaccountable, and attacking many of the rights we thought we’d always have. Justice Thomas made it clear in his concurrence that he wants gay marriage and contraception rights to be overturned next.
I have always been a voice for common-sense, secular government. The United States has a terrible legacy of pushing religious views on residents, oppressing Indigenous people and people of color along the way. I’m deeply concerned about the slew of recent SCOTUS decisions that undermine privacy, bodily autonomy, tribal sovereignty, the separation of church and state, and the ability to regulate firearms. Conservative Justices are actively making life harder for people in our country.
I’ll detail what I’m doing to protect our rights and community values in the sections below. Thank you for your attention to this e-update.
The Fight to Protect Reproductive Rights
Abortion is healthcare, and healthcare must remain safe, available, and accessible. Forced birth is not pro-life. For the first time ever, our next generation will have fewer rights than we did. People deserve to keep their healthcare decisions between them and their provider. Minnesota now has responsibility, as the only state in the region that guarantees reproductive rights, to care for people whose state has failed them. The harmful decision overturning Roe v. Wade will affect people of color, those who are low-income, and people with disabilities the most. We need to fight back against extremism and protect reproductive rights. It’s been devastating, but I feel lucky to have a seat at the table to protect the rights we have here in Minnesota.
As part of the Reproductive Freedom Caucus, I support the Minnesota After Roe Agenda, which seeks to: 1.) Repeal outdated abortion restrictions in Minnesota; 2.) Protect abortion providers and patients; and 3.) Ensure equitable and affordable access for all. More details here.
Governor Walz Takes Executive Action to Protect Reproductive Health Care in Minnesota
It’s good to have a pro-choice governor. Governor Tim Walz took executive action to protect reproductive health care services in Minnesota. Executive Order 22-16 will help protect people seeking or providing abortions in Minnesota from laws in other states.
“My office has been and will continue to be a firewall against legislation that would reverse reproductive freedom,” said Governor Walz. “This order shows our administration’s commitment to protecting patients and health care providers. Our administration is doing everything we can to protect individuals’ right to make their own health care decisions.”
To the maximum extent permitted under the United States and Minnesota Constitutions and Minnesota law, the Governor will decline to honor requests to extradite individuals who are accused of committing acts related to reproductive health care that are not criminal offenses in Minnesota.
Executive Order 22-16 also orders state agencies to work to protect Minnesotans providing, seeking, or obtaining lawful reproductive health care services to the fullest extent of their lawful authority. Except when required to do so by law, state agencies must not assist other states in attempts to seek civil, criminal, or professional sanctions against anyone who provides, seeks, or obtains health care services that are legal in Minnesota.
Executive Order 22-16 is effective immediately.
Urgency to Address Gun Violence
The Fourth of July brought forward numerous mass shootings this year, including one close to home: Boom Island. What’s supposed to be a celebratory experience in our communities left families broken and traumatized. I’ve heard from so many of you on this issue - we need to move swiftly on gun regulation to save more lives. We, as a nation, deserve better.
More people were shot and killed in America over the weekend than are killed by guns in Japan and the UK combined during an average year. It’s not video games, lack of prayer, or anything else that caused it. It’s guns. It’s always guns.
It’s time that dissenters on the other side of the aisle develop the political courage to ban assault rifles, close loopholes allowing people access without background checks, and encourage safety in our communities with red flag laws. I’m constantly inspired by the incredible leaders within Moms Demand Action, and I will continue to fight with them for a better, safer world for our kids.
Hemp THC Legal in Minnesota as of 7/1
A complicated situation, for sure. If you haven’t already heard, low-dose THC edibles and drinks are legal under new legislation that came into effect last Friday, as detailed in this StarTribune article. This legislation is a step towards the safe regulation of THC products in MN.
This legislation is a step towards allowing Minnesotans to safely obtain the products they want. Before this legislation was signed into law, the state of Minnesota had little to no regulatory framework around products containing THC derived from hemp. Products targeting youth quickly proliferated across the state, often with colorful advertising/packaging and candy-like products with non-childproofed containers. The new law adds necessary guardrails to protect kids. My hope is that next year we can fully legalize cannabis, taxing it to put investments into our communities and putting forward important public health measures that Republicans wouldn’t let through this year.
Keep in Touch
July 22nd marks the 60-day deadline out from the legislative session, after which I’m no longer able to send these e-updates or do outreach from my legislative office. This is an important measure that’s in place to ensure that our elections are fair, and that incumbent candidates don’t have more resources than newcomers. I am, however, still able to respond to you if you reach out.
Don’t hesitate to contact me if I can provide any assistance. You can always reach me at email@example.com. Please follow me on Facebook or Twitter for further updates and invite your friends and family to do so as well.
Thank you for the honor of representing you at the Capitol.