Neighbors of 60B,
Reminder: join me and the rest of the United Black Legislative Caucus tonight at the Minnesota History Center for a film screening and discussion. You can reserve a seat here.
Tomorrow I am hosting a town hall meeting with Attorney General Keith Ellison, Hennepin County Commissioner Angela Conely, Representative Hodan Hassan, and Council Member Abdi Warsame from 6-8 p.m. at the Brian Coyle Center. You can find all the details at the Facebook Group here.
A.G. Ellison and Reps. Hassan and Noor invite community members to Feb. 27 town hall
Money should not be a factor in deciding whether someone sits in jail or goes free. We can’t have people pleading guilty just to get out of sitting in jail waiting to stand trial. Today I had a hearing in the Judiciary Finance Committee for my bill to eliminate cash bail in certain misdemeanor offenses. Under the bill, defendants charged with certain misdemeanors would be released without financial conditions unless the court determined there was a substantial likelihood that the defendant would flee or endanger public safety. This bill will now go back to the Judiciary Committee for another hearing. When someone has to spend several days in jail they often lose their jobs, custody of their children, and it is a burden on their family. Cash bail criminalizes people for living in poverty and perpetuates a cycle of incarceration.
Rep. Noor testifies on behalf of cash bail reform with Minneapolis City Attorney Susan Segal
Paid Family and Medical Leave
A popular proposal to provide all Minnesotans with Paid Family and Medical Leave won a major victory last week. HF 5, which I have co-authored, received a public hearing in the Commerce Committee last Tuesday. The committee approved the bill, and House DFLers are putting into action the values and concerns Minnesotans shared with us during months-long listening sessions. Part of that commitment includes ensuring that no one has to choose between receiving a paycheck and caring for a loved one.
Equal Rights Amendment
HF 13 would put an Equal Rights Amendment on the ballot in Minnesota in November of 2020 to amend the state constitution to read, “Equality under the law shall not be abridged or denied on account of gender.” If ratified, the amendment would take effect on January 1, 2021. On Wednesday, the ERA bill won a major victory when it received approval from the Judiciary and Civil Law Division. Our state should do everything it can to uphold our values of fairness and I’m proud to co-author this legislation.
Last Thursday the House unanimously voted to repeal a rule that made an exception for “marital rape.” Several Minnesotans have come forward advocating for a change to this law, which says that even if someone is drugged, raped, and videotaped, it is not illegal if the individuals are married. I was proud to cast a vote to eliminate this loophole that allowed so much hurt and violence to Minnesotans. You can learn more here.
We also voted to allow the Secretary of State to use $6.6 million in federal funds to improve our election security. This money is sitting in an account going unused, because the Secretary of State can’t use it unless it’s specifically approved by the Minnesota legislature. All 49 other states have begun using this money, and we know that foreign governments and other entities have been trying to influence our elections. We don’t know if the Senate will approve this money yet, but it’s something both democrats and republicans have said they are committed to approving. Being the only state in the country to not authorize this money makes us a greater target for hackers. You can read the Star Tribune’s editorial here.
Thank you for keeping up with what’s happening at the Capitol. If you have any questions feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 651-296-4257.