This week, I joined my colleague Rep. Athena Hollins in co-authoring her legislation creating tougher restrictions on no-knock warrants. No-knock warrants are dangerous, and often lead to harm for both civilians and officers. They are also used unequally. St. Paul hasn’t used one since 2016, but the Minneapolis Police Department averages more than 100 per year. We’re proposing good, common-sense policy that we can pass in response to the tragic death of 22-year-old Amir Locke at the hands of police.
The use of no-knock warrants became common practice during the 1980s war on drugs. Over the years, these raids have proven to be dangerous for both civilians and police officers alike. According to data reported in the New York Times, the use of both no-knock and knock-style raids led to nearly 100 deaths (81 civilians and 13 officers) from 2010-2016. More recently, Breonna Taylor was killed while sleeping in her bed in Kentucky in March 2020.
It’s time to change this deadly practice.
I’m extremely proud of the work we were able to produce in the House Redistricting Committee this past year. Our community stepped up in an amazing way to be counted during the 2020 Census, despite unconventional circumstances during the pandemic, and because of our actions Minnesota was able to hold on to all 8 congressional seats.
With this new census data, our committee held many public hearings last fall, and we ultimately voted out legislation containing maps and principles that reflected the diverse and inclusive testimony Minnesotans provided. Unfortunately, Senate Republicans did not introduce any legislation.
Now, new boundaries of voting districts have been redrawn as they are every decade, reflecting new legislative and congressional districts. With the maps now released from a judicial panel, we will begin the process of analyzing the information, which will take some time. You can read more in this Session Daily article and go to the Legislative Coordinating Commission website for more detailed information.
On Wednesday next week, my legislation on after-school community learning programs will be heard in committee. One of the best ways we can support the youth in our community is by providing them with opportunities and experiences that help them learn and grow, but it’s not the case that every community has the resources for these types of programs.
Minnesota currently receives $7 million in federal funding for after-school programs, but provides no state funding. This federal funding is routed through the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program which has the purpose of establishing or expanding community learning centers that provide students with enrichment opportunities during the summer and before/after school during the school year.
The purpose of this bill is to create a similar program using state funding that can meet the unmet demand for those federal funds. 15% of Minnesota students currently participate in an after-school program, however an additional 20% of Minnesota students want to participate but do not have access to programming.
The goal of my legislative is to help those additional kids, many of them in communities like ours, who don’t have access to these resources.
The Minnesota House will continue to conduct our work in remote and virtual operations for the time being, but we’re looking to start phasing-in public operations towards the end of March. To stay up to date on the latest news and the livestreams of committee hearings and floor debates, you can visit the House Public Information website and read the nonpartisan Session Daily newsletter.
If you didn’t catch my previous update, I am asking our community to take a brief legislative survey to help guide our work in the Minnesota House this year. If you have a moment, I’d greatly appreciate it.
Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions, comments, or concerns you have about our work at the Minnesota House. You can reach me at 651-296-4262 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you.