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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Sydney Jordan (DFL)

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Legislative Update: February 8, 2021

Monday, February 08, 2021

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Dear Neighbors, 

Last week, the Minnesota House of Representatives passed House Resolution 1, a resolution condemning violence and violent rhetoric directed at the United States Capitol and the Minnesota Capitol while also affirming support for democracy and our free and fair election. I was proud to vote yes and glad to see the resolution pass. 

Now is the time to stand up to rhetoric that threatens the stability of our democracy and casts baseless doubt on the legitimacy of our free and fair elections.

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Mask Up Minnesota!

Keeping Minnesotans safe continues to remain my top priority as Minnesota responds to COVID-19. Last week, I introduced legislation to put current mask requirements into effect under state statute. Wearing a mask even when you do not feel sick helps protect our neighbors in cases where we are unaware of our asymptomatic infection.

The bill continues to ask Minnesotans over the age of five to wear a face covering, under state law, when they are:

  1. indoors at a business or public setting
  2. waiting outdoors to enter and indoor business or indoor public setting;
  3. riding on public transportation, in a school transportation vehicle, in a ride-sharing vehicle, or in a vehicle being used for a business purpose;
  4. outdoors when it is not possible to maintain social distancing from others who are not members of the individual's household, or
  5. in a common area of a multi-unit dwelling

Additionally, the bill includes language on the expiration of the mask policy upon the issuance by the CDC of guidance on measures to prevent COVID-19 transmission that does not include a recommendation to wear a face covering to prevent COVID-19 transmission.

Let’s continue to mask up and make sure Minnesota  recovers and emerges stronger from this pandemic.

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Protecting Workers

In recent weeks, we announced the DFL House priorities for the 2021 Legislative Session, which includes an initiative to protect our workers. With a vision to better work conditions for Minnesota and provide care to those who care for our community, we must work to further the Essential Workers Emergency Leave Act (House File 41), introduced by Rep. Cedrick Frazier, which aims to provide emergency paid leave for the frontline and essential workers who do not have access to the COVID-related leave provisions passed by the federal government earlier in the pandemic. This bill would provide 100 hours of emergency paid leave to workers considered to be full-time by their employer, preventing working families from being forced to use their paid time off, sick days or going without pay for shifts missed.

Emergency leave for essential workers is necessary to ensure all community members are able to protect their own health and families , pay their bills, and slow down the spread of COVID-19, without the risk of losing their jobs. Not all Minnesotans are afforded the privilege of logging-in from home. 

2021 legislative session priorities for Minnesota workers.

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Adult-use Cannabis Legalization

I signed on as a co-sponsor of HF 600, a bill to legalize and regulate adult use of cannabis, supported by a majority of Minnesotans. Passing H.F 600 is vital in the fight for racial justice, healthcare youth safety, and veteran support. The bill that would reduce unnecessary stops, searches, and arrests that target Black & Brown communities, extend treatment options for our veterans, and prevent youth access through regulation.

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Select Committee on Racial Justice final report

The Minnesota House established the Select Committee on Racial Justice last year after the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers. On January 25, committee co-chairs Rena Moran and Ruth Richardson presented a final report to the Ways and Means committee with recommendations for addressing systemic racism.

More specifically, the report calls on the Legislature to act to dismantle racism through a series of policy recommendations in areas such as economic development, housing, education, public safety, health and human services, and environmental justice.

Click here to read the full report.

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Strong Democracy Powered By Minnesotans

To further strengthen our democracy, my colleagues and I voted in support of House File 9, chief authored by Representative Greenman, aiming to build a strong, inclusive democracy that will:

  • Prohibit intimidating and harassing voters or elections officials and using deceptive practices to disenfranchise voters.
  • Ensure state and local elections officials can access the critical federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) funds they need for election security and infrastructure.
  • Establish automatic voter registration, allows 16- and 17-year-olds to pre-register to vote, and restores the right to vote for Minnesotans who are on probation or parole.
  • Takes steps to increase transparency and unveil who is spending money to influence our elections,modernizes the Political Contribution Refund (PCR) program, replacing it with Democracy Dollars coupons that are available to all registered Minnesota voters.
  • Improve Minnesota’s redistricting process. It sets fair criteria for lawmakers to follow when drawing and evaluating maps and creates a public process to solicit Minnesotans’ input, make redistricting data available to the public, and provide advance notice of maps and hearings.

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Due North Education Plan

Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan announced the Due North Education Plan, a sweeping agenda for the future of education in Minnesota. Developed from a robust engagement effort with educators, school leaders, students, and families across the state, the Due North Education Plan is centered on ensuring every child in Minnesota receives a high-quality education, no matter their race or zip code. You can watch the announcement on the Governor’s YouTube page.

Walz Plan

 

On Governor Walz's COVID-19 Recovery Budget

Minnesotans across the state were hit by this unfortunate pandemic in different ways, and as lawmakers, it is our job to support our workforce, students and small businesses to emerge from this crisis stronger than they were before. 

I look forward to partnering with Governor Walz to introduce legislation that will confront the challenges faced by Minnesotans and invest in the future of our state.

Read more about the budget details here. 

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It is my job to serve you. Please do not hesitate to contact me with anything you may need. 

Sincerely,

Sydney Jordan

State Representative