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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Jennifer Schultz (DFL)

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Legislative Update – June 18, 2020

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Dear Neighbors,

Last Friday, the governor called lawmakers in for a special session to tackle the significant challenges our state is facing, first with the COVID-19 pandemic, and now with the urgent need to enact criminal justice reform. Here’s an update.


Duluth Lynchings Revisited

This week marks the centennial of the 1920 Duluth lynchings. On Monday, Governor Walz made the trip to Duluth to visit the Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial. Last Friday, the Minnesota Board of Pardons met, and issued the first-ever posthumous pardon to Max Mason, another circus worker who had been wrongly convicted. I encourage you to visit the Minnesota Historical Society’s virtual exhibit with resources and events.

This was a horrific event that we are only beginning to discuss in our community. We have much work to do to dismantle structural racism and deliver equity and justice.


Assistance for Small Businesses

When we convened on Friday, we came together to approve aid for small businesses, many of which have been struggling to access federal resources. The legislation delivers $62.5 million in grants for small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill includes $60 million from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and $2.5 million from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development’s Emergency Loan Program. Under the bill, small businesses with 50 or fewer employees can receive grants up to $10,000. Priority will be given to Minnesota’s smallest businesses and those that were required to operate at 50 percent capacity or less.


Criminal Justice Reform

After George Floyd’s killing at the hands of Minneapolis police officers, the world’s eyes turned to Minnesota. The Legislature’s People of Color and Indigenous (POCI) Caucus has introduced legislation aimed at increasing police accountability, building trust between police officers and the communities they serve, and reimagining public safety. Many of the proposals have been discussed for several years and it’s time to enact these long overdue reforms.

We’re considering the legislation – the Minnesota Police Accountability Act of 2020 – on the House Floor this evening. Here’s a fact sheet about this important legislation to strengthen accountability and ensure justice.

Please continue to stay in touch. My email is rep.jennifer.schultz@house.mn and phone number is 651-296-2228. It’s an honor to represent you.

Sincerely,

Jen Schultz
State Representative