Below are some recent updates on what I’ve been working on.
Funding to Prevent Domestic Violence
Earlier this session, the House Public Safety Committee heard testimony that currently the Department of Corrections provides very little programming for offenders regarding domestic violence intervention in Minnesota prisons. Many of these offenders participate in programming once released from incarceration but receive no interventions during the time they are in custody. I wanted to address this gap in our system. After speaking with Corrections staff and the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women, I introduced House File 2337.
HF 2337 will provide funding for identifying domestic violence offenders, assessing potential for future threats, and determining which types of programming would be the most effective for preventing future domestic violence. I am excited to report that my bill received a hearing and was included in the House Public Safety omnibus bill! As a freshman member, I was heartened that members from both parties are supportive of this new way of addressing domestic violence in our communities.
Protect Minnesota Rally
Last week, Minnesotans rallied at the Capitol rotunda for common sense gun legislation and to address gun violence as a public health issue. I spoke about the link between increased gun ownership and increased violence against women.
Here’s a video clip of my speech:
This coming Friday marks the final committee deadline for this year’s session. This means each committee should have their omnibus policy and finance bills passed out of their respective committees to be heard on the House floor. In theory, an omnibus bill is a collection of bills that the committee has already heard previously, now rolled together in one bill. Unfortunately, sometimes an omnibus bill includes legislation that nobody has seen before and the public has not heard. This can also be where divisive policy issues are added without full committee and public input beforehand.
The nonpartisan House Public Information Service has written about several of these bills:
Environment and Natural Resources Omnibus Bill
This year’s House Omnibus Environment and Natural Resources Bill, House File 888, is an example of a bill that includes new language never before heard in committee. There were 22 different sections of the bill that were not heard by our committee or the public (see link: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1egvxhvpR17Waj8JUNEtFMoUEEeSEiNnSLt9yETiqrxI/edit#gid=0).
Public testimony was then allowed less than 24 hours after the bill language was released, allowing very little time for Minnesotans to share their views with committee members. The bill passed out of the committee and will be heard on the House floor this Thursday.
It is an honor to be your voice on the issues that matter to you. Please don’t hesitate to contact me about any issues or concerns you may have.
P.S: Don’t forget to forward this update to your friends and family. They can sign up to receive these updates here.