Dear Friends and Neighbors,
I want to wish you and your family a Happy Easter and a wonderful Passover! I hope you have been able to enjoy some time celebrating with loved ones. Friday began our Easter/Passover break at the legislature, so there is no legislative business happening at the Capitol this week.
Last week was the second deadline week at the legislature. In order for a policy bill to continue going through the legislative process and ultimately have a chance to become law, it must be approved by committees in both the House and the Senate by the second deadline. This made for another busy week of committee hearings and many late nights at the Capitol.
Once legislators return from break, we’ll have a clearer picture of the eventual outcome of bills on the major issues as well as the legislation I am personally working on. Until then, here is an update with news on some issues from the Capitol.
Police Protection Bills
The House Public Safety Committee recently approved two bills designed to protect police officers and the communities they serve. One of these is a bill I am authoring which would increase the penalty for assaulting a law enforcement officer from a gross misdemeanor to a felony. When officers are assaulted, they are often in a fight for their lives, and there is a clear difference between assault and resisting arrest. Furthermore, people that seek to harm law enforcement officers are dangerous people and need to be appropriately held accountable. We owe it to the men and women that selflessly serve and protect their communities every day to get this bill passed this session. I am proud to carry this commonsense legislation and will continue working hard to get it to the governor’s desk in the weeks ahead.
The other bill is authored by Rep. Matt Grossell, another former law enforcement officer. The bill would prevent a local city government from disarming its law enforcement officers who are in good standing and not currently under investigation or subject to disciplinary action. Law enforcement officers put their lives on the line every day in order to protect the public. For the safety of the officers and their communities, the idea of local politicians disarming police is dangerous. That’s why this is an important bill and one I’ll continue to support as it moves forward.
School Safety Package
Last week Thursday, House Republicans unveiled a legislative package that addresses the issue of school safety and mental healthcare in our schools. We owe it to our children and our communities to advance meaningful, effective legislation that will keep our schools safe.
Here is a brief rundown of the legislative proposals:
Medical Assistance Work Requirement
Last week, the House Health and Human Services Finance committee approved legislation to require all able-bodied adults currently on Medical Assistance to be working, seeking employment, or completing a job training program. The bill includes exceptions for single parents with children to care for, people with disabilities, certain medical conditions, addictions, or other barriers to employment.
Minnesota has a strong economy with more jobs than workers to fill them, and the requirements in this legislation are nearly identical to those required for federal public assistance programs. I think this bill is a commonsense approach that would allow greater resources to be used for individuals who are unable to work and desperately need these services, as well as other important budget areas. It will help lift more people out of poverty and off public welfare programs, in addition to giving them the skills they need to be successful in our economy.
As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of assistance to you or your family on a matter of state government. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-4346 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.