I want to thank everyone who attended my “Chat with Kelly” recently, and want to invite you to attend the next one on Sunday, March 22 at 12:30 p.m. We will again meet at Shore 96 in Shoreview, and all community members are welcome.
Modernizing Minnesota’s Guardianship Statute
I am proud to be the chief author a bill that modernizes Minnesota’s guardianship and conservatorship statutes. This legislation, which is the result of stakeholders meeting over the past two years, will reduce unnecessary guardianships and conservatorships, promote less restrictive alternatives such as supported decision making, update the guardianship bill of rights, and protect the privacy interests of those subject to guardianship.
In the House Judiciary Committee, we heard from a young woman whose family utilizes supported decision making instead of guardianship; she testified that this option makes her feel empowered. Her mother testified that not only does supported decision making benefit her daughter, it also benefits her elderly mother with dementia because her mother needs support – not someone else determining how she should live her life. The committee approved the bill with bipartisan support.
Working to Ensure Justice for Survivors of Sexual Assault and Harassment
While it’s been a couple of years since the #metoo movement started, Minnesotans continue to experience harassment in workplaces with little opportunity to seek justice. Due to an outdated legal standard that harassment must be “severe or pervasive,” it’s extremely difficult for survivors to hold perpetrators accountable.
Last year, the Minnesota House stood with survivors of sexual harassment to approve HF 10, legislation I chief authored to update our sexual harassment laws. Unfortunately, the Senate didn’t act. We’re not giving up, and in case you missed it, here’s an op-ed Sen. Kari Dziedzic and I authored for the Star Tribune discussing the urgent need for the Legislature to take action.
I’m also working hard to ensure survivors of sexual assault can see the people who commit unspeakable acts upon them held accountable. I’m proud to work across the aisle in support of sexual assault survivors, and TPT’s Almanac recently interviewed me about our bipartisan work to solve the problem of untested rape kits.
Preventing Gun Violence
Last week the House took action on several of our key priorities. All Minnesotans deserve to feel safe in their communities, but too many instances of senseless gun violence have led to too many tragedies. Minnesotans are loud and clear in their desire to see solutions. With my support, the House approved HF 8, to expand criminal background checks for gun sales, and HF 9, to allow extreme risk protection orders, otherwise known as “red flag” laws. Both of these bills will help ensure potentially dangerous individuals cannot access firearms. These bills have broad public support, even among gun owners, and I was proud to support them.
Ensuring Access to Affordable Insulin
While drugmakers earn billions in profits, Minnesotans with diabetes are struggling with the high cost of prescription drugs, like insulin. It’s shameful that one in four diabetics are forced to ration their insulin, and in cases like that of Alec Smith, this can be deadly. It’s time to bring pharmaceutical companies to the table and ensure everyone can access the insulin they need to live. Last week, the House approved the Alec Smith Insulin Affordability Act which would provide emergency access to insulin, address long-term affordability, and is ready to implement right now. Now, it’s up to the Senate to act on this issue and so we can have a bill ready for the Governor’s desk. In addition, we must do what we can to reduce costs of all medications, and I’ve supported these efforts and will continue to do so this session.
This year, instead of selecting our nominees for President at a precinct caucus, Minnesota moved to a primary election. This was the right move after the caucuses were overloaded with turnout in 2016, but there are privacy concerns regarding information about which party’s primary a voter chose to participate in being heard. Last week, the House approved legislation to give voters the ability to opt-out of sharing their party preference in the primary. The bill also restricts the sharing of that data only to a national party representative, and only for the purpose of verifying participation in the primary. I support this legislation to increase accessibility and encourage maximum participation in our democratic process. You can learn more here.
Let’s Stay Connected
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 email@example.com. I also hope to see you at my next "Chat with Kelly" at Shore 96 on Sunday, March 22 and my Community Conversation on Immigration on April 8.
It’s an honor to represent you at the Capitol.