Sen. Scott Dibble, Rep. Frank Hornstein, and I are holding a town hall to hear your questions, feedback, and ideas before the 2020 legislative session starts next week. It’s a great opportunity to share your thoughts with legislators and with your neighbors in smaller breakout groups. You can find more details and RSVP here. Please don’t hesitate to invite other community members to join us!
Preparing for the legislative session has kept me busy. Here’s some of the work I’ve been doing to make sure the session is a success:
The Climate Action Caucus held two community conversations last month. More than 100 Minnesotans joined us to discuss how the climate crisis is impacting our environment and colleges and universities and what we can do about it. I’m looking forward to using ideas and insights from these events when the Legislature reconvenes. You can sign up for updates from the Climate Action Caucus and find information about upcoming events here.
The House Public Safety Committee, of which I’m a member, and the Judiciary Committee held a special joint hearing dedicated to addressing inequities in the criminal justice system last week. You can read about some of the specific steps we discussed here.
Several colleagues invited me to be part of climate town halls in their communities during the interim. Traveling to Stillwater, St. Cloud, and other communities gave me the opportunity to hear directly from Minnesotans who often can’t make the trip to the Capitol and discuss solutions that would meet the unique needs of people and places throughout the state. Folks are motivated and ready to tackle climate change in every corner of Minnesota!
Probation Cap Advances
The Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission recently voted to advance a presumptive five-year limit on probation terms that will make our probation system more just and effective! I’m grateful for their leadership and for all of the Minnesotans who have shared their probation stories so others could have opportunities that they were denied.
I testified in favor of limiting probation in front of the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission a few weeks ago.
The presumptive five-year probation cap mirrors legislation that I introduced last session. Unless the Legislature intervenes, it will automatically take effect in August. You can read more here.
Be Counted in the 2020 Census
The 2020 Census is just around the corner. This once-a-decade count provides crucial data that’s used to determine how much federal funding our state receives for school lunches, Medicare, transportation, and other crucial services we all rely on. It’s also used to reapportion seats of the U.S. House of Representatives. Getting a complete count is particularly important this year because Minnesota is on the verge of losing our eighth congressional seat. In March, the U.S. Census Bureau will start sending information on how to be properly counted to every home in Minnesota. Click here to download a fact sheet with more information or here to watch a short video.
The U.S. Census Bureau must fill thousands of temporary positions to conduct the census. These jobs provide flexible hours and competitive wages. In Hennepin County, census takers can earn $25 - $27.50 per hour. Candidates fluent in languages spoken in our community, including Spanish, Hmong, Oromo, Amharic, Karen, and Vietnamese, are particularly encouraged to apply. More information about working for the Census is available here.
Announcing Season 2 of the Minnesota Values Podcast
The Minnesota Values Podcast, which I co-host with my colleague Rep. Liz Olson, will return for its second season next week! A very special guest joined us for our first episode, which will be available on Tuesday, February 11. Listen at https://anchor.fm/mnvaluespod or anywhere podcasts are available, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and Stitcher.
Please continue sharing questions, feedback, and ideas with me! I always appreciate hearing from fellow community members.