Neighbors and Friends,
Each week at the Capitol, dozens of issues receive our attention – either in committee or through action on the House floor. We are a few weeks into the legislative session, and the days are filled with diverse legislative ideas and proposals. Read below for an update on some of the issues we’re considering:
Southeast Minnesota Education’s Legislative Forum
Last Saturday I had the pleasure of attending The Legislative Forum of Southeastern Minnesota Legislators.
Preemption in Committee
Late last week, the House Jobs Committee heard a Republican “preemption” bill that would stop local communities from setting their own policies for workers. This bill would prevent communities from implementing pro-worker policies such as sick leave, family leave, or a higher minimum wage. This legislation will even roll back sick time for hundreds of thousands of people working in the Twin Cities. This is exactly the type of divisive, anti-worker legislation we’ve seen around the country. Minnesotans know they deserve a fair shake and this isn’t it. I came to the Capitol to help people get ahead, not to make it even harder for them to get by, and that’s why I’m opposing this bill.
The bill is scheduled to be heard on Wednesday, February 8th at 10:15 a.m. in the Government Operations Committee. I encourage you to watch the committee or contact the bill author to voice your opinions.
Bonding Presented to Capital Investment
The Governor’s bonding proposal was presented to the Capital Investment Committee. Since the legislature failed to pass a capital investment bill the past two years, it’s essential for us to pass one this year. Rochester will benefit greatly, with the Governor wanting to fund our dyslexia center, the airport, and the Rochester Community and Technical College.
Governor Dayton’s Cybersecurity
On an almost daily basis, we’re hearing reports of security breaches into companies, governments, and into the lives of individuals, resulting in private information being revealed. Security experts have said state government is subjected to millions of cyberattacks every day in attempts to illegally access secure information. Governor Dayton recently unveiled his cyber security priorities by investing $125 million to reform and update our information technology infrastructure.
The governor’s proposal will build strong cybersecurity defenses by updating systems to safeguard Minnesotans’ private data. The proposal also makes investments required to convert or upgrade digital infrastructure to ensure state government operates efficiently and is up to speed with the needs of today and tomorrow.
I’m supporting Governor Dayton’s proposals to bring the State of Minnesota into the digital age. We should use all methods available to protect our citizens and institutions against illegal access by those who want to disrupt our state government.
To read more about the governor’s proposal, go here.
Sexual Assault Advocates
The full extent of sexual assault on college campuses is not known, but because of some high visibility cases in the news, the issue is getting more attention. What is known, is that victims of sexual assault are often too afraid or traumatized to come forward or do not know exactly what to do after a crime occurs.
I would like to make you aware of training opportunities available for anyone who would like to become certified as an advocate to provide services to victims or survivors of sexual violence. Training is also offered to volunteers interested in providing peer counseling, assisting with support groups, teaching about sexual violence in schools and legal advocacies.
To learn more, click on the following links:
Second Saturday Coffee
I will continue to host monthly coffee meetings on the second Saturday of the Month at 8:30 a.m. at Dunn Bros Coffee North. I hope you’ll be able to join me this Saturday, the 11th of February for our monthly meetings.
I am also open and willing to attend other Saturday gatherings to host discussions, listen, and share thoughts. Contact me to set at time and date if you’re interested.
Please contact me with any concerns or questions during this legislative session.
Rep. Duane Sauke