I hope that you have been able to spend some time outside enjoying the warmer weather. We are lucky to have so many beautiful lakes and parks in our district, including Snail Lake Regional Park in Shoreview.
At the legislature, we continued to work through Presidents’ Day and have a busy week ahead. Here are a few things to share:
Appointed to Select Committee on Technology and Responsive Government
I was recently appointed to the Select Committee on Technology and Responsive Government. This Select Committee will examine how Minnesotans interact with government and harness innovation to respond to the needs of the public. We will seek ways to make government more effective for Minnesotans and improve efficiency.
Diversity and Crisis Training for Police
Last Wednesday, HF 346 was heard in the Public Safety Committee. I’m proud to be a co-author of this bill and am hopeful we can get the bill passed into law this year. The bill is supported by Governor Dayton and has bi-partisan support in the House. This bill will increase officer training in the areas of crisis intervention, conflict management and cultural diversity.
Here is a link to an MPR article about the bill.
Sunday Liquor Sales
Yesterday, we voted on the prohibition on liquor stores selling alcohol on Sundays. I voted to remove the prohibition primarily because I heard overwhelmingly from constituents who were in favor of this change. It was a difficult decision because I am also concerned about small liquor store owners. However, the bill before me this year differed from past versions in that it limits Sunday store hours to 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. and requires that no liquor deliveries be allowed on Sundays. While momentum for this change has been increasing over the years, it’s unclear if there are the votes for it to pass the Senate.
Last week, Lt. Governor Tina Smith announced a bill to stop wage theft in Minnesota. Wage theft occurs when an employer refuses to pay an employee, forces an employee to work off the clock, or fails to pay the minimum wage. Nearly 40,000 Minnesotans were the victims of wage theft last year, with an estimated $11.9 million in wages owed to them that they were not paid.
This is why it was important to me that I sign on to HF 1391, which would give employees the tools to know if they’re being victimized, give the Department of Labor and Industry the power to investigate wage theft crimes, and impose fines on employers who routinely cheat their employees.
High School Page Program
Last week I had the pleasure of meeting Nick Swanson, a high school student from our district who spent a week at the House participating in the High School Page Program.
Over the last 40 years high school juniors from throughout Minnesota have participated in this unique opportunity to view their state government in action. This non-partisan program allows students to spend a week at the State Capitol, participating in a wide variety of educational experiences. You can find more information about the program here.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any issues or concerns you have. It’s an honor to be your voice at the Capitol.
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