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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Fue Lee (DFL)

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Legislative Update - February 24, 2017

Friday, February 24, 2017

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Visit from Hmong College Prep Academy Teachers

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Visit from Jennings Community School Student

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Visit from Minnesota Internship Charter School

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Visit from Henry Achievement Program at Minneapolis Henry High School

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Visit from North Minneapolis students with Breathe Free North

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Honoring Minneapolis North High School Football Team for their 2016 State Championship

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Visit from Housing Day at the Hill constituents

Legislative Update

Yesterday I introduced HF 1678, the “Taylor Hayden Gun Violence Prevention Act”. This bill would appropriate $200,000 in 2018 and $200,000 in 2019 to the Department of Human Services. These funds would develop a bidding process to award grants to nonprofit organizations for gun violence prevention outreach and education campaigns. I am honored to be a part of this important effort.

Every week in the United States:

  • 645 people lose their lives to firearm violence; and

  • 1,565 more are treated in emergency departments for firearm-related injuries.

  • Firearms are the second leading cause of injury death for youths 17 and under.

  • Firearm injury is overwhelmingly a male problem with males accounting for 86 % of the deaths and 89% of the non-fatal injuries.

  • And every month in America, 52 women are shot and killed by their current or former partners.

Gun violence is a part of our communities—but it doesn’t have to be.

We have an extensive criminal justice system that deals with the punishment of gun violence. We have advocates working all across the state to support victims and survivors of gun violence.

And now we need to be more intentional about supporting the design and implementation of programs that get ahead of it and actually work to prevent it.

When we look beyond homicide and consider all gun deaths, including unintentional shootings and suicide, we have a better understanding as to how our communities can fight back.

We must look at societal factors. We must look at our laws. We must advocate for a multi-faceted approach that considers ALL determinants of violence: behavior change, law/policy, product/environmental change. We must look at society as a whole, our smaller communities, individuals and the situations where gun violence occurs--and we must work tirelessly to get ahead of it.

The Taylor Hayden Gun Violence Prevention Bill is where we need to start.

HF 30 (Sunday Liquor Sales)

This past Monday the Minnesota House passed HF 30 85-45 to allow for Sunday liquor sales.

Under HF 30, liquor stores can be open on Sunday between 10 AM – 6 PM and alcohol cannot be delivered by a carrier on Sunday. The bill is effective July 1, 2017.

I voted to repeal the ban because I believe businesses should be able to make these decisions for themselves. I want us to move on from this debate so we can focus on other issues impacting everyday Minnesotans like economic disparities, criminal justice reform, and the opportunity gap to name a few.

You can find House Public Information Services coverage here.

HF 3 (REAL ID)

Yesterday the Minnesota House passed HF 3 72-58 to implement Minnesota’s REAL ID.

Under HF 3, there will be a two-tier system for: 1) REAL ID compliant, and 2) non-compliant driver’s licenses. The non-compliant license option allows people who are fearful of their personal data being shared with the federal government and other states to get a license, but not for those who are undocumented. This bill would put into statute that REAL ID non-compliant Minnesota driver’s licenses cannot be issued to undocumented immigrants by requiring proof of lawful status.

Representative Carlos Mariani offered an amendment to have the entire bill without the immigration language to allow for a “clean” vote on the bill. I voted in support of the amendment, but it failed. You may find his statement here.

Representative Jim Nash offered an amendment to prohibit the Department of Public Safety from sharing any data on firearms permits, purchases or transfers under the Real ID system. I voted in opposition to this amendment, but it passed.

I voted against the passage of this bill as amended because of its anti-immigrant nature. There has been widespread support from law enforcement, clergy, the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, some labor unions, and agricultural organizations, to allow for undocumented immigrants to be able to legally drive in Minnesota – for public safety reasons and self-respect purposes. REAL ID is needed, but we should not block immigrants from obtaining driver’s licenses at the same time.

You can find House Public Information Services coverage here.

I encourage you to contact me with any questions, comments, concerns, or ideas on any legislative topic. Also, I am available during select hours on Monday and Friday mornings most weeks for in-district meetings, if Northside residents aren’t able to make it to the Capitol. If you would like to send me a message or set up an in-district meeting, you can reach me by phone at 651-296-4262 or by email at rep.fue.lee@house.mn. I look forward to hearing from you!