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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Kaohly Her (DFL)

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Update: Probation terms, youth vaping, and Veterans Day

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Rep. Her

Neighbors,

Last week, Minnesota took bold action to advance a five-year cap on probation terms. Many Minnesotans are still receiving decades-long probation terms, and this decision will reduce sentencing disparities based on race and geography. For far too long in our state, both the number of individuals sentenced to probation and the length of the terms have exceeded what’s needed to promote deterrence or reduce recidivism.

Individuals who are on probation are ineligible for expungements, barred from many professions, prevented from living in certain residences and even prevented from voting. You can read me and my People of Color and Indigenous Caucus colleagues' statement here


Youth Vaping 

I know that there is a lot of uncertainty and concern around vaping, especially for young people. I'm worried about the long-term health consequences vaping will cause, and I know that we need to stop tobacco companies from targeting to youth with flavors like bubblegum and peach, smoking devices disguised as flash drives, even a hoodie with draw-strings that can be used for vaping. That's why I plan to support the House DFL's new comprehensive plan to address youth vaping. You can read the Star Tribune Story here.

vaping

In our Community

I’ve enjoyed seeing all the familiar AND unfamiliar faces at the events that have taken place over the past few weeks in our community! 

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I recently visited the Carondelet Center for a presentation on housing and health. One startling take away was that our homeless children and youth population is larger today than the entire homeless population two decades ago. We have much to do to secure affordable and stable housing for all.


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I visited the Eureka Recycling facility in NE Minneapolis. Eureka is just one of the few nonprofit recyclers in the country, and it processes an average of 400 to 450 tons of recycling every day! They have to stop operations a few times a day to remove plastic bags from jamming their machines. Unfortunately, cities are no longer able to ban these bags because of legislation that was passed a few years ago. We will be working to fix that law this session.


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I recently had the privilege of speaking to healthcare providers and breastfeeding practitioners in Rochester on advocating for pregnant, new mothers and babies in healthcare, workplace and childcare.


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Met up with SPPS School Board Chair Zuki Ellis to catch up on education policy!


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Hout Manufacturing is a third generation company located in the heart of 64A. Employing 37 people, they make top of the line storage units, hex keys, dyes, and cases that organize tools. Thank you Paul for giving me a tour and teaching me about manufacturing in MN. I appreciate you sharing with me the challenges of the industry and your vision for the future.


Veterans Day

On Veterans Day, we recognized the brave service members who have worn our nation’s uniform. No matter the branch in which they served or where they were stationed, our veterans deserve deep appreciation for their sacrifices. However, it’s not enough to thank our veterans once a year. We have a responsibility to ensure that the men and women who have served our country have opportunities to succeed and thrive in our communities throughout the year.

This year, we delivered full funding for the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Military Affairs to support those currently wearing the uniform and those who have served previously. We also helped address veteran homelessness and provided support for the Helmets to Hardhats program, which helps veterans enter building and construction apprenticeships, and funded an initiative that amplifies and preserves veterans’ stories and experiences.

As we reflect on the sacrifices that our services members have made – and continue to make – let’s all commit to ensuring that when their missions are finished, they will return home to supportive and caring communities. 

I hope you had a wonderful weekend!

Sincerely,

Rep. Kaohly Her