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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Jay Xiong (DFL)

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Legislative Update- May 1, 2021

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Rep. Xiong


Dear Neighbors,

We’ve had a challenging and traumatizing couple of weeks, which certainly feels like a long extension of 2020. I hope you’ve been able to take a moment for yourself, and your family to check in on loved ones to see how they are doing. While I’m sure many of us are tired hearing, “we’re all in this together,” it’s important for us to reflect on the good will our Eastsiders have shown each other- and the kindness we’ve extended to our neighbors during these trying times. 

As your state representative, I’m committed to getting our community and state the results we deserve to get us through the pandemic, so we all have an opportunity to thrive in the months and years ahead. The state budget we passed in the House is a moral document that aims to get us back on track. If you’re interested in learning about the contents within each budget area, you can learn more here:


All Budget Bills


A couple highlights: the bill I’ve been working on with my colleague Rep. Kelly Morrison, who is also a practicing physician, has been included in the final health and human services budget. This is the legislation I mentioned in a previous update that aims to improve COVID-19 vaccine access for all, and promotes equitable vaccine distribution. It includes outreach campaigns, community assistance, and a mobile vaccination program.

I’m also pleased to share I’ve been appointed to the House and Senate Legacy Conference Committee by House Speaker Melissa Hortman. Five appointed members of the House and five members of the Senate will work over the course of the next few weeks to find a compromise on a final bill to bring to each respective chamber for a final vote. I’m looking forward to fighting for the provisions we passed in the House, especially those that fund the initiatives on the Eastside I was proud to author which include Wakan Tipi, Hmong SGU Veterans, CLUES, 30K Feet Black Arts Center, Hmong Museum, and Tou Saik Unites.

Public Safety and Police Reform

Justice cannot stop with the guilty verdicts of former officer Chauvin for his role in the murder of George Floyd. Our public safety system, which has roots that go beyond the Jim Crow era, has been structured in a way that is excessively violent and by design, racist. We can and must do more to ensure bad cops are kept off the streets to protect Black and Brown lives.

Our Public Safety and Reform bill, which passed with bipartisan support, would help us achieve safer communities by implementing the following, practical policies:

  • Reforming the use of no-knock warrants;
  • Prohibiting traffic enforcement stops in certain circumstances of minor violations;
  • Strengthening civilian oversight of police departments;
  • Creating a more robust Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Board to regulate and train professional peace officers;
  • Working toward ending police-only responses to mental health crisis calls; and
  • Investing in community healing and support for families of those impacted by deadly force encounters with police.


Public Safety


To date, the Minnesota Senate has not held a single hearing to address any of these deadly encounters with police. One is supposedly scheduled for next week, but the Senate Majority Leader has indicated they will not hear public testimony, which defeats the whole purpose. Members of the public need to be at the table. I encourage you to reach out to Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka at 651-296-4875 to urge him to prioritize public safety for all Minnesotans, no exceptions.

Vaccine Opportunities

The State Fair Community Vaccination Site has appointments available! Our community is one of the regions eligible to sign up for appointments, and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has reduced barriers for this site by opening a hotline to schedule appointments directly (833-431-2053) in a multitude of languages. MDH has ensured a large number of translators are on site daily, as well as an ADA accessible drive through option. A free Metro Transit pass is also available to every registrant. This week, they are also beginning to open more community sites where up to 1,000 doses a day will be administered. These sites are being finalized and will be located at community centers, churches, schools, and more.

You can find more information here, which includes information in multiple languages - such as Spanish, Hmong, Somali, Karen, and more. We’re incredibly close to putting this pandemic behind us, and we will get there sooner by vaccinating more Minnesotans. Please share this information with those who may need it.



In a recent announcement from the Federal Government, the deadline to obtain a REAL ID has been extended by an additional 18 months to May 3, 2023. This will help relieve some of the pressure on our local Driver and Vehicle Services offices, which have been overwhelmed with requests to renew expired drivers licenses and vehicle registration tabs, and give Minnesotans more time to obtain this updated form of identification.



Beginning May 3, 2023, Minnesotans will need a REAL ID to board domestic flights or enter federal facilities. An enhanced driver's license or ID card, passport or passport card are acceptable substitutes. Simple vehicle tab renewals can be handled online in just a few minutes at the DVS website, so take advantage of that option if you can’t get an in-person appointment.

Keep in Touch

Please don’t hesitate to reach out anytime for assistance, questions, or to share input at or 651-296-4201.

It’s an honor to serve our community at the State Capitol!

Stay safe and enjoy the weekend, Eastsiders.

In solidarity,

Jay Xiong

State Representative

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