MN Legislative Calls to Action- Week of March 25th

Thanks to Indivisible MN Legislative Action for these calls to action. Also check out the CD2Action Calendar for a variety of events going on this week, including at the Capitol.

Below are hearings we think you’ll want to know about and you can find the full schedule of hearings at the MN Legislature web site.

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

Senate Vote (Monday) – anti-protestor bill and hands-free cellular
Monday – Attack on MN IT department and a bill to help with the opioid crisis
Tuesday – free pass to polluters, legalizing campaign wear at polling places, refund the office of economic status of women, support for employee rights, MNCare buy-in, tech and privacy commission, family and medical leave, wage theft, sick leave
Wednesday – (will update tomorrow)
Thursday – elections omnibus

Senate Vote (Monday)

Oppose

SF2011 – This bill would criminalize people who turn off pipelines, but don’t actually cause any physical damage to the infrastructure, with up to 7 years in prison and $20,000 in fines. This is a common method used by environmental protestors to disrupt pipeline operation in order to make a point about climate change. The potential charges are way out of proportion to the actions taken.
Hearing Date: 3/25/2019
Hearing Time: 11:00:00 AM
Location: Senate Floor, call your Senator

Support

HF50 (passed the house, being voted on by the senate) – This bill prohibits cell phone use while driving a motorized vehicle with some exceptions exist to account for navigational purposes. This should help decrease distracted driving and other states with hands-free laws have seen decreses in major accidents.
Hearing Date: 3/25/2019
Hearing Time: 11:00:00 AM
Location: Senate Floor, call your Senator

Oppose

SF910 (Senate) – This is one of a couple of bills that undermine the ability of MN.IT (the IT department for the state of Minnesota) to do its job. This bill would require that all new project are performed by contractors. While that is sometimes appropriate, bringing in outside contractors can be more expensive and more time consuming them doing the development in house. MN.IT This is a massive overreaction to the MNLARS software problems and would cause a lot of future headaches for the ability of the state of MN to innovate.

Hearing Date: 3/25/2019
Hearing Time: 9:45:00 AM
Location: 123 Capitol
Committee: Rules and Administration
Chair: Gzaelka
Vice Chair: Benson
Minority Lead: Bakk
Members: Cohen, Dahmn, Limmer, Miller, Newman, Pappas, Pratt, Rest

Support

SF751 (Senate) – This bill will charge opioid manufacturers and wholesalers a fee, establishes an opioid epidemic advisory council, limits opioid prescriptions for acute pain (not chronic), and other changes to help reduce opioid overdoses. This is a bipartisan bill and I expect it to pass the committee. This is an informational only alert for those who may want to attend the hearing or look through the Research Summary on this bill as I know this is an important topic to many

Hearing Date: 3/25/2019
Hearing Time: 9:45:00 AM
Location: 123 Capitol
Committee: Rules and Administration
Chair: Gzaelka
Vice Chair: Benson
Minority Lead: Bakk
Members: Cohen, Dahmn, Limmer, Miller, Newman, Pappas, Pratt, Rest

Tuesday, March 26th

Oppose

SF750 (Senate) – This bill will give a 16 year free pass to industrial polluters, prevent fee increases on permits, prevent application of air quality standards and limit public participation among other features.

Hearing Date: 3/26/2019
Hearing Time: 10:30:00 AM
Location: 1150 Senate Office Bldg
Committee: Environment and Natural Resources Finance
Chair: Ingebrigtsen
Vice Chair: Rudd
Minority Lead: Tomassoni
Members: Abeler, Bakk, Bigham, Eichorn, Hawj, Johnson, Mathews, Simonson, Weber

SF785 (Senate) – This bill would legalize wearing partisan political apparel not only outside of, but inside a polling location. The ban on political apparel is design to ensure not coercion or intimidation at the polling place and should be maintained. For example, this would allow a group of people in MAGA hats to hang around outside of polling locations in minority neighborhoods. This bill stems from the MN supreme court ruling the current restrictions about “political wear” were too vague, but this bill is a free-for-all that expressly allows campaign material not just things considered political.

Hearing Date: 3/26/2019
Hearing Time: 1:00:00 PM
Location: 1200 Minnesota Senate Building
Committee: State Government Finance and Policy and Elections
Chair: Kiffmeyer
Vice Chair: Koran
Minority Lead: Carlson
Members: Howe, Jasinski, Kent, Laine, Newman, Rest, Westrom

Support

HF2533 (House) – During the last legislative session, the GOP removed all funding for the office of economic status of women. This office was tasked with looking into barriers for women in the workforce and the drivers of economic disparities for women. For example, one finding was that access to reliable transportation had a disproportionate effect on a woman’s ability to maintain a job. This bill would restore that funding.

Hearing Date: 3/26/2019
Hearing Time: 8:00:00 AM
Location: Basement Hearing Room
Committee: State Government Finance Division
Committee Link: https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/Committees/Home/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

HF1860 (House) – Meatpacking companies often employee large numbers of immigrants who may have a limited understanding of their rights as employees or may lack english proficiency. This bill would clarify which organizations are considered “meatpacking” and ensure that information about their rights is posted all languages needed to accommodate the employees. If an employee cannot read, their rights must be read to them. This includes their rights to form a union and to work in a place free from harassment and discrimination

Hearing Date: 3/26/2019
Hearing Time: 8:00:00 AM
Location: 200 State Office Building
Committee: Jobs and Economic Development Finance Division
Chair: Mahoney
Vice Chair: Noor
Minority Lead: Gunther
Members: Backer, Claflin, Davnie, Ecklund, Haley, Hassan, Koegel, Koznick, Mekeland, Moran, Robbins, Stephenson, Sundin, Xiong J.

HF3 (House) – Creates a MinnesotaCare buy-in program for anyone not eligible for a government program. Also improves access to dental care through Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare and establishes an prescription drug program for MinnesotaCare
HF2602 (House) – This bill would create a commission to study the effects of new technologies on privacy and make recommendations to the legislature including government surveillance. As new technologies allow companies and governments to access more and more information about us, it’s important that we know the impacts and can put robust privacy laws in place. This commission is a good first step

Hearing Date: 3/26/2019
Hearing Time: 9:45:00 AM
Location: Basement Hearing Room
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

HF5 (House) – Establishes a family and medical leave insurance program for up to 12 weeks each year of qualifying leave (for example pregnancy or family care). If the family care is for a service member or meets a qualifying exigency you can get up to 26 weeks of paid leave. Overall this a good proposal to make paid family leave available in MN.
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
HF11 (House) – This bill requires employers to allow employees to accrue “sick and safe time” (basically sick leave and family leave) at a rate of 1 hour for every 30 worked up to 48 hours with the ability to carry over unused hours for 1 year. The ability to use the hours starts after 90 days of employment. This bill will allow workers to take earned time off, with pay, for various contingencies.

Hearing Date: 3/26/2019
Hearing Time: 5:30:00 PM
Location: TBD
Committee: Jobs and Economic Development Finance Division
Chair: Mahoney
Vice Chair: Noor
Minority Lead: Gunther
Members: Backer, Claflin, Davnie, Ecklund, Haley, Hassan, Koegel, Koznick, Mekeland, Moran, Robbins, Stephenson, Sundin, Xiong J.

Thursday, March 28th

Support

HF1603 (House) – Elections Omnibus bill – an important bill to keep an eye on (particularly given how difficult it is for any progressive election reform bill to get anywhere in the Senate), it contains automatic voter registration, free public transit on election day, restoring the vote, true early voting, permanent mail-in voting status, mail-in presidential primaries, increased voter assistance, ranked choice voting for local officials, national popular vote, full election security funding, campaign finance improvements, redistricting with citizen participation, and improved census work access to multi-unit properties to get a good count. The GOP say it is partisan and controversial. The DFL say it brings more integrity to the elections, helps more people participate in the elections, and is not partisan. (For more details – https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/SessionDaily/Story/13753).

Hearing Date: 3/28/2019
Hearing Time: 12:00:00 AM
Location: Room 10, State Office Building
Committee: Judiciary Finance and Civil Law Division
Chair: Lesch
Vice Chair: Moller
Minority Lead: Scott
Members: Bahr, Cantrell, Carlson A., Considine, Grossell, Hassan, Her, Johnson, Liebling, Lucero, Mariani, Noor, O’Neill, Robbins, Xiong J.

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