I want to thank everyone who attended our town hall meeting recently at the Ramsey County Library – Shoreview, and I was delighted to see such strong attendance. Each time Sen. Isaacson, Rep. Becker-Finn and I hold one of these events, we’re delighted with how engaged and interested our community is in the important issues we tackle at the State Capitol.
The legislative session started Tuesday and Rep. Kelly Morrison of Deephaven and I had some fun filming this message for social media from the House Floor. Check it out on my Facebook page here.
Undergoing a rape examination is extremely invasive, especially for someone who has already experienced unthinkable trauma. The evidence collected in this process should be used to deliver justice for the survivor and be preserved to potentially prosecute other cases. Unfortunately, a KARE 11 investigation discovered that of the 36 law enforcement agencies the station surveyed, 219 untested rape kits were destroyed, with 98 of them being destroyed since 2017. Some were destroyed after just a matter of weeks.
This is simply unacceptable. To destroy the evidence gained during this procedure does nothing but retraumatize survivors who deserve justice. In 2019, the U.S. Department of Justice awarded a $2 million grant to the state of Minnesota to address a significant backlog of rape kits. Beyond funding, we clearly have more work to do. Next week, the House Public Safety Committee, of which I am a member, will consider legislation I co-authored to require rape kits to be submitted to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension for testing within 60 days and to be preserved indefinitely.
I thank KARE 11 for the opportunity to discuss this with them, and for giving a voice to survivors of unthinkable assaults.
During the legislative session, I schedule a series of “Chats with Kelly” to give neighbors an opportunity to discuss any issues important to them. The first of these will be on Sunday, February 23 from 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. at Shore 96 Restaurant in Shoreview (1056 Highway 96). These are informal visits with no speeches or organized program, so come as you are and share what’s on your mind. All District 42A residents are welcome. If you can’t make it on February 23, I also have a chat scheduled on March 22.
As the Rice Creek Commons project moves forward on the former TCAAP site, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is updating the State Superfund Priority List to partially delist the TCAAP site. Part of this process includes seeking public input and you’re invited to share your thoughts with the agency.
If you have feedback, written comments can be submitted to Eric Pederson at the MPCA via email at Eric.Pederson@state.mn.us. The public comment period closes on February 26.
I am working on many important issues at the Capitol. Often I tweet about them or post them on Facebook. To see the bills I've authored and co-authored, please click here. To follow bills through the legislative process, you can use the MyBills service on the Legislature’s website. Additionally, Session Daily provides regular nonpartisan recaps of legislative activity.
If you have any questions for me or concerns about issues, please feel free to email me or call to schedule a meeting. I can be reached at 651-296-0141 or firstname.lastname@example.org. I also hope to see you at my next "Chat with Kelly" at Shore 96 on February 23.
It’s an honor to represent you at the Capitol.