Thanks to everyone who attended the recent Criminal Justice Reform Forum I hosted in Shoreview. There were some powerful stories shared, and I’m grateful for the panelists who shared their insights with those present.
I also want to thank those in our community who joined me for a State Capitol tour during the recent MEA break. Chief Clerk Pat Murphy shared a lot of interesting facts with our groups. We also answered a lot of questions about how the legislative process works. Let me know if you ever have questions!
If you know any high school juniors interested in state government, please encourage them to apply for the Minnesota House High School Page Program. This is a one-of-a-kind program giving approximately a dozen students each week the opportunity to spend a week at the State Capitol during the legislative session and learn about the legislative process first hand. In addition to assisting legislators during House Floor sessions, students have the chance to meet with constitutional officers, judges and court officers, lobbyists, and members of the media. They also participate in a mock committee session designed to develop their leadership skills and to inspire them to think critically about the issues confronting our state.
Application information is available here. If you are an educator, please share this information with your colleagues. The deadline to apply for the 2020 session is November 21. If you have any questions, please contact the House Sergeant-at-Arms Office at (651) 296-7452.
When I started my term in the Minnesota House this past January, addressing senseless gun violence was among my top priorities. This past legislative session, the Minnesota House approved two key measures which would help reduce gun violence: expanded criminal background checks and red flag laws. Despite the public support and demonstrated need for this life-saving legislation, the Minnesota Senate majority has instead stood with the NRA in rejecting it.
Just this week, the Star Tribune’s Minnesota Poll highlighted that strong support continues among Minnesotans for measures like these, with 84 percent supporting expanded background checks. In our community, I know the passion many people have goes beyond simple numbers on a poll. I recognize the deep convictions many people have, and I’ve frequently seen neighbors advocating at the Capitol for change. The heartbreaking tragedies in El Paso and Dayton in August further highlight the need to urgently take action. Please know that I remain committed to solutions allowing Minnesotans to be safe at school, at work, while worshiping, or anywhere else in our community.
While the Legislature isn’t in session, I remain committed to making myself accessible to the community. During the interim, I host office hours every Wednesday and am available to meet at the Capitol, in the district, or on the phone. To schedule a meeting, please call my office at 651-296-0141. It’s an honor to represent you at the Capitol.