I hope you’re staying safe and warm. We’re well underway with the 2019 legislative session, and there are important updates from St. Paul and back home that I’d like to share with you.
This legislative session I’m honored to serve as Chair of the House Labor Committee. The other committees I serve on include:
These committees are not only important to our community, but to the wellbeing of the entire state. I look forward to working for you and with my fellow legislators to ensure the bills that pass through these committees are able to improve Minnesota. You can learn more about these and other committees here.
State Senate Special Election
As you may be aware, our district has had the political spotlight on it for the past few weeks. The February 5th Special Election for the open state senate seat is next Tuesday, and there are some important updates for folks who are voting by mail.
If you are voting by mail, but haven’t sent in your ballot yet, the surest way to have your ballot counted is to hand-deliver it yourself by Tuesday. The Carlton County Auditor’s Office is open 8am-4pm, Monday-Friday, as well as 10am-3pm this Saturday.
Again, with mail services suspended this Wednesday due to the weather, absentee and mail-in ballot folks should seriously consider hand-delivering their ballots. You’re also able to personally deliver up to three other ballots besides your own, should you wish to assist family or neighbors. Absentee and mail-in ballots for Carlton County residents can be physically brought to the following address:
Carlton County Auditor
301 Walnut Avenue
Carlton, MN 55718
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the offices of Carlton County (218) 384-9127, or the Minnesota Secretary of State at 1-877-600-8683.
I know that the limited window in which our special election falls, and the deadlines for mail-in balloting, have proven to be a challenge and a hardship for too many of our citizens. We need to address these statutory limitations so that in the future we can be confident that everyone will have a chance to make their voices heard without undue burden.
Voting is a right, and I intend to do everything in my power to ensure we are making it easier, not harder, for folks to exercise that right. This is why I have been working with Secretary of State Steve Simon to craft legislation to remedy these issues that areas such as ours face with special elections.
A bill that I’m proud to bring to the legislature this session is HF 119, which would help fund the Helmets to Hardhats program. Helmets to Hardhats is a program from the Construction Careers Foundation that focuses specifically on connecting active duty, reserve, and military veterans with construction careers.
You can read more about Helmet to Hardhats here.
Another piece of legislation I want to share with you is one that we recently passed out of the Labor committee. The Paid Family Leave and Medical Act, HF 5, would ensure that Minnesotans are able to both work and care for their loved ones. As a priority of the new House Majority and governor, this bill would improve economic security for families, boost employee productivity and morale, and reduce turnover for businesses. It would be particularly effective in helping our smaller businesses compete with the big guys.
You can read more about the bill and the testimony we heard here.
Keep In Touch!
Finally, I want to hear from you. The legislative process is at its best when it’s collaborative, and I welcome your input. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at (651) 296-4308. My new office in St. Paul is Room 417 in the State Office Building. I look forward to hearing from you.