MN Legislative Calls to Action – Week of Feb 5th

Thanks to Indivisible MN Legislative Action for these calls to action.

If your legislator is on the committee, call them. Otherwise call the Committee Chair (in the House) or the Minority Lead (in the Senate).

Tuesday Expanding access to the ballot, improved parking access for people with disabilities, and making bicycling safer
Wednesday Opioid addiction, wage theft, and improved parking access for people with disabilities
Thursday Equal rights amendment, tax conformity, and election security finally gets a senate committee hearing

Tuesday, February 5th

Support

HF45 (House) – This bill will automatically register eligible voters when they interact with government offices, for example when getting their driver’s license or a state identification card. This is a good step towards increasing access to voting
HF94 (House) – Current law only allows for an individual to assist 3 people with marketing their ballots (for example, if someone has physical challenges or an inability to read the ballot). That limitation makes it difficult to have enough people available to assist voters. This bill would remove that limitation, improving ballot access for people who need assistance

Hearing Date: 2/5/2019
Hearing Time: 9:45:00 AM
Committee: Government Operations
Chair: Freiberg
Vice Chair: Sauke
Minority Lead: Zerwas
Members: Bahner, Elkins, Gomez, Heinrich, Koegel, Layman, Lee, Lillie, Mason, Nash, Nelson, Pelowski, Quam, Theis, Vogel, West

HF462 (House) – This bill is a series of updates and clarifications to the laws governing bicycling aimed at making bicycling safer for everyone sharing the road.
HF211 (House) – This bill allows physical therapists to provide medical statement for people with physical disability to obtain parking privileges. Currently, only Physician, Physician’s Assistant, Advanced Practice Registered Nurse or Chiropractor are authorized. This will help people with disabilities get access to the parking they need.

Hearing Date: 2/5/2019
Hearing Time: 12:45:00 PM
Committee: Transportation Finance and Policy Division
Chair: Hornstein
Vice Chair: Tabke
Minority Lead: Torkelson
Members: Bernardy, Elkins, Hausman, Heinrish, Koegel, Koznick, Masin, Nelson, O’Driscoll, Petersburg, Richardson, Runbeck, West, Wolgamott, Youakim

Wednesday, February 6th

Support

SF653 (Senate) – This is the Senate version of HF211. It allows physical therapists to provide medical statement for people with physical disability to obtain parking privileges. Currently, only Physician, Physician’s Assistant, Advanced Practice Registered Nurse or Chiropractor are authorized. This will help people with disabilities get access to the parking they need.

Hearing Date: 2/6/2019
Hearing Time: 10:30:00 AM
Committee: Transportation Finance and Policy
Chair: Newman
Vice Chair: Jasinski
Minority Lead: Dibble
Members: Anderson B., Carlson, Franzen, Frentz, Hall, Howe, Kent, Kiffmeyer, Klein, Lang, Little, Osmek, Senjem

HF400 (House) – This bill establishes the Opioid Stewardship Advisory Council and requires drug manufacturers and wholesale drug distributors that sell or distribute opioids in Minnesota to pay a product registration fee into an opioid stewardship account. This money will go towards prevention and treatment of opioid addiction.

While I don’t think this bill will have any trouble passing the DFL controlled House and a few Republicans have signed onto the bill, Republicans have historically been opposed to fees on drug manufacturers. It would be good to call and let them know you support having drug manufacturers help fund recovery from the damage created by their drugs.

Hearing Date: 2/6/2019
Hearing Time: 2:30:00 PM
Committee: Commerce
Chair: Halverson
Vice Chair: Stephenson
Minority Lead: O’Driscoll
Members: Carlson, Davids, Dehn, Elkins, Garofalo, Haley, Howard, Kotya-Witthuhn, Kresha, Lesch, Lislegard, Mahoney, O’Neill, Richardson, Swedzinski, Tabke, Theis

HF6 (House) – This bill greatly increases the ability of the state to prosecute wage theft, makes it so the theft does not have to be an intentional attempt to defraud, increases fines and penalties, and prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who assert their rights under the law.

This bill has limited republican support. Please call and let your reps know you support this bill

Hearing Date: 2/6/2019
Hearing Time: 2:30:00 PM
Committee: Labor
Chair: Sundin
Vice Chair: Koegel
Minority Lead: Rarick
Members: Brand, Claflin, Dettmer, Ecklund, Fabian, Hornstein, Lippert, Mekeland, Nelson, Persell, Vogel, Xiong J.

Thursday, February 7th

Support

HF13 (House) – This bill is to add an equal rights amendment to the MN constitution onto the 2020 ballot for a vote. Republicans in the senate have been dropping their support for this bill. This may be due to  pro-life activists worried that enshrining equal rights for women in the MN constitution will be used to guarantee their right to an abortion although the MN supreme court has already determined that women in MN have a constitutional right to an abortion.

Please contact your representatives, especially if they are republicans, and urge them to support this bill as written without adding unnecessary amendments that restrict true equality for women.

Hearing Date: 2/7/2019
Hearing Time: 8:00:00 AM
Committee: State Government Finance Division
Committee Link: http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/cmte/Home/?comm=91032
Chair: Nelson
Vice Chair: Carlson A.
Minority Lead: Albright
Members: Acomb, Elkins, Freiberg, Green, Hertaus, Huot, Kiel, Kelvorn, Lippert, Long, Masin, Nash, Olson, Quam, Vogel

Tax Conformity (informational, no alert)
The House is starting hearings on individual bills to conform the MN tax code to the federal changes. Each individual bill covers a very narrow part of the tax code but if you’re interested in keep tabs on the tax conformity debate keep an eye on the Taxes committee. No specific alert for this one, just informational

Hearing Date: 2/7/2019
Hearing Time: 8:00:00 AM
Committee: Taxes
Chair: Marquart
Vice Chair: Lislegard
Minority Lead: Davids
Members: Becker-Finn, Brand, Carlson L., Erickson, Fabian, Gomez, Lesch, Lien, Loeffler, McDonald, O’Neill, Petersburg, Schomacker, Schultz, Swedzinski, Xiong T., Youakim

SF93 and SF241 (Senate) – Thank you to everyone who called their Senators to prioritize election security funding. There are two completing bills, both of which release money from the federal Help America Vote Act just for different amounts. SF93 is the preferred bill as it allocates all of the money available from the federal fund (about $7 million) whereas SF241 only allocates $1.5 million. Please encourage your senators to pass SF93 to release the federal funding as quickly as possible.

Hearing Date: 2/7/2019
Hearing Time: 1:00:00 PM
Committee: State Government Finance and Policy and Elections
Chair: Kiffmeyer
Vice Chair: Koran
Minority Lead: Carlson
Members: Howe, Jasinski, Kent, Laine, Newman, Rest, Westrom

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