MN Legislative Calls to Action- Week of March 4th

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.

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

Election security funding is still up in the air. I wrote a detailed post and call to action with all the details for this vital funding.

Monday ERA and driver’s licenses for all
Tuesday – Eliminates corporate alternative min tax, attacks on environmental board budgets, transportation help for people with disabilities and other transportation bills, net neutrality, murder and missing indigenous women task force, wage theft, Northstar, help with insulin prices, and a bad elections bill to create a new “challenged voter” ballot status
Wednesday – Eliminate the estate tax, good and bad restricting bills, single use plastic bans, restore the vote, ensuring immigrants know their work place rights in meatpacking facilities, and a slew of bills to increase voting access
Thursday – Eliminates the corporate alternative min tax, climate change projection funding and clean water bills

Monday, March 4th

Support

HF13 (House) – This bill is to add an equal rights amendement 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 concerns by pro-life activists worried 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 unneccesary amendments that restrict true equality for women.

Hearing Date: 3/4/2019
Hearing Time: 9:45:00 AM
Committee: Rules and Legislative Administration
Chair: Winkler
Vice Chair: Her
Minority Lead: Daudt
Members: Albright, Baker, Becker-Finn, Carlson L. , Drazkowski, Freiberg, Garofalo, Hassan, Hward, Lillie, Neu, Olson, O’Neill, Pelowski, Pinto, Schultz

HF1500 (House) – This bill to allows all eligible Minnesotans to obtain a driver’s license, regardless of their immigration status. This bill is about improving public safety, bolstering economic development and building stronger and more stable families and communities. Approx. 82,000 residents of Minnesota are eligible for a driver’s license or state ID, but cannot get one because they are undocumented immigrants. Many have been living here for decades and were able to obtain a driver’s license, until Governor Pawlenty changed the law in 2003. Imagine having your driving privileges and access to an ID stripped away. For undocumented immigrants, having access to a Driver’s License or State ID is both a matter of convenience, as well as dignity, to be able to move around the state.

A statewide coalition of groups are working together to get this legislation passed. For more details on the Freedom to Drive MN coalition aa well as the issues this bill is addressing, see https://www.freedom2drivemn.com/

Hearing Date: 3/4/2019
Hearing Time: 5:00:00 PM
Committee: Judiciary Finance and Civil Law Division
Committee Link: https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/committees/members/91028
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.

Tuesday March 5th

Oppose

SF345 (Senate) – Eliminates the corporate alternative minimum tax which is used ensure companies pay at least something in taxes and can’t use deductions to get to 0 tax liability.

Hearing Date: 3/5/2019
Hearing Time: 8:30:00 AM
Committee: Taxes
Chair: Chamberlain
Vice Chair: Senjem
Minority Lead: Rest
Members: Anderson P., Bakk, Dziedzic, Franzen, Gazelka, Howe, Miller

SF1814 (Senate) – This punitive bill would revoke unspent Pollution Control Agency, Department of Natural Resources and the Board of Soil and Water budget dollars in the next biennium (2022, and 2023) for jobs posted and unfilled after 180 days in 2019-2021.

Hearing Date: 3/5/2019
Hearing Time: 10:30:00 AM
Committee: Environment and Natural Resources Finance
Chair: Ingebrigtsen
Vice Chair: Rudd
Minority Lead: Tomassoni
Members: Abeler, Bakk, Bigham, Eichorn, Hawj, Johnson, Mathews, Simonson, Weber

SF1803 (Senate) – Would make information on the “challenged” status of a voter public, and would require that personally identifying information would be written on the person’s ballot, effectively removing their ability to cast a secret ballot in an election. “Challenged” voters are people who are not on the registration list, but affirm under penalty of perjury that they are till eligible to vote. in most states, they’d get a provisional ballot, but in MN they just go ahead and vote via regular ballot. A likely result would be the harassment of eligible voters who have received challenged status for administrative errors.

Hearing Date: 3/5/2019
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

Support

SF695 (Senate) – This bill authorizes data sharing between the Department of Human Services and the Metropolitan Council for special transportation purposes, to facilitate the transfer of senior or disabled riders from one provider to another, which is needed when crossing service boundaries. Please call your senator to let them know this is an important bill for seniors and those with disabilities who use these transit services, they should support this bill. This change will make a huge difference in their ability to get around.

Hearing Date: 3/5/2019
Hearing Time: 8:30:00 AM
Committee: Local Government
Chair: Hall
Vice Chair: Anderson B.
Minority Lead: Torres Ray
Members: Clausen, Jasinski, Laine, Mathews, Osmek, Relph, Wiger, Wiklund

HF136 (House) – Establishes net neutrality as law for internet providers operating in Minnesota. This means that an internet provider cannot treat content from different sites differently. For example, they can’t make Netflix run more slowly unless you or Netflix pays more money. This bill has no republican support right now.
HF70 (House) – This bill creates a task force to recommend ways to reduce and end violence against indigenous women and girls in Minnesota, and appropriates money to fund the task. The bill was created by indigenous women to address the epidemic of stolen sisters. The missing and murdered deserve justice.

Hearing Date: 3/5/2019
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

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: 3/5/2019
Hearing Time: 9:45 AM
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.

SF1892 (Senate) – This bill would appropriate money for Northstar Commuter Rail extension to St. Cloud; require a legislative report on project status; authorize the sale and issue state bonds for pre-design and design, preliminary and final engineering. This would help continue multi-modal transportation system development for a major transportation corridor in the state.

Hearing Date: 3/5/2019
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

HF485 (House) – Establishes a program to help people afford insulin and an insulin product fee on manufacturers to fund it.
HF284 (House) – Commission of Health tasked with performing a review of insulin costs in the state and determining if costs are excessive (unafforable for the people and state of Minnesota) and requires manufacturers to report on their prices. This will help shed light on insulin pricing. If it’s determined that insulin costs are excessive, it would allow the commissioner to health to cap reimbursements so the manufactuer cannot make more than a 50% net profit on insulin products. Drug companies should not be using this life-sustaining drug to pad their profit margins.
HF963 (House) – Requires health plans to cover a full range of contraceptive options and prohibits them from charging cost-sharing fees on contraceptives. This would effectively reinstate the ACA requirements that health insurance cover contraceptives for free.

Hearing Date: 3/5/2019
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

HF1060 (House) – This bill would allow the reduction or waiver of financial penalties for certain offenses, and would require courts to consider indigency or hardship before imposing certain fines, fees, or surcharges.
HF1447 (House) – This bill would appropriate $6M from the general fund for transit service modernization and enhancements in the Twin Cities Metro Area for replacement service providers, allowing these providers ability to update their system to continue to provide transit service.
HF1061 (House) – This bill would limit the circumstances for which a person’s driver’ license could be suspended, preventing unnecessary hardship.

Hearing Date: 3/5/2019
Hearing Time: 7:00:00 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 March 6th

Oppose

SF1448 (Senate) – Eliminates the estate tax. This is a give away to the wealthiest families in Minnesota so their children can inherit an unlimited amount of wealth tax free. Under current law, the first $2.7 million is already exempt from taxes. Small business property and farms is exempt up to $5 million. This tax only applies to 2% of estates in Minnesota but brings in about $100 million a year to help pay for schools, roads, and other things needed to maintain the state.

Hearing Date: 3/6/2019
Hearing Time: 8:30:00 AM
Committee: Taxes
Chair: Chamberlain
Vice Chair: Senjem
Minority Lead: Rest
Members: Anderson P., Bakk, Dziedzic, Franzen, Gazelka, Howe, Miller

HF1018 (House) – Opposed by the League of Women Voters. Cuts citizen participation out of the redistricting process and protects the incumbency of legislators. It also does not ensure representation of the geographic, racial, socio-economic, or ethnic diversity of the state. The League of Women Voters is putting forth a different redistricting bill that will address these issues. HF1018 should be opposed.

Hearing Date: 3/6/2019
Hearing Time: 7:00 PM
Committee: Subcommittee on Elections
Chair: Dehn
Vice Chair: Bahner
Minority Lead: Nash
Members: Bernardy, Halverson, Mann, Neu, O’Driscoll

Support

HF511 (House) – This is an informational hearing to overturn an earlier law that prevents local areas from banning single use plastic bags and other similar items.

Hearing Date: 3/6/2019
Hearing Time: 9:45:00 AM
Committee: Subcommittee on Local Government
Chair: Masin
Vice Chair: Elkins
Minority Lead: McDonald
Members: Freiberg, Hertaus, Koznick, Lien, Xiong T.

HF40 (House) – Bill to restore the vote to 52,000 Minnesotans (11,000 women) previously convicted of a felony, now living in the community, working, paying taxes. It also requires notifying people when their right to vote has been restored. This bill has support from law enforcement, correctional offices, attorneys, civil rights groups – and it has 35 sponsors in the House.

Restoring the vote would be removing one of the barriers to people re-integrating into the community and living productive, crime-free lives. Voting gives people deeper ties to their communities, which makes them less likely to re-offend. Our criminal justice system should not just be about punishment, but about justice and restoration as well.

Hearing Date: 3/6/2019
Hearing Time: 12:45 PM
Committee: Public Safety and Criminal Justice Reform Finance and Policy Division
Chair: Mariani
Vice Chair: Edelson
Minority Lead: Johnson
Members: Christensen, Considine, Dehn, Grossell, Howard, Lesch, Long, Lucero, Miller, Moller, Nash, O’Neill, Pinto, Poston

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: 3/6/2019
Hearing Time: 2:30:00 PM
Committee: Labor
Chair: Sundin
Vice Chair: Koegel
Minority Lead: Vogel
Members: Brand, Claflin, Dettmer, Ecklund, Fabian, Hornstein, Lippert, Mekeland, Nelson, Persell, Xiong J.

HF1152 (House) – Allows people with disabilities to request an absentee ballot be sent to them in an accessible electronic form that can be marked with accessible software or devices. This will help ensure people with disabilities are not disadvantaged when voting
HF1372 (House) – Allows voters to register as a permanent absentee voter. Their ballots would automatically be sent to them before elections. This removes the overhead of registering as absentee before every election. This is a step towards true mail-based elections
HF1153 (House) – Allows the presidential primary to be done by mail and fixes an unintended issue with a previous law that would force voters to declare their party affiliation in order to vote in the primary.
HF1605 (House) – This bill would establish an independent commission consisting of 5 retired judges and 12 citizens to draw district lines. This would ensure citizen participation and representation in the process. Additionally, this bill ensures that party and incumbent information cannot be used when drawing districts eliminating the threat of partisan gerrymandering. The maps would then be voted on by the legislature. If the legislature cannot come to agreement on the maps, they can draw their own. This puts the people of Minnesota at the center of the process and increases accountability as legislators will have to answer to their constituents about why they reject a map. This bill is supported by Common Cause
HF980 (House) – Allows a person who is under 18 to vote in a primary If they will be 18 years old before the general election. This will allow everyone voting in the general election to have a say in selecting the candidates for that election

Hearing Date: 3/6/2019
Hearing Time: 7:00 PM or the call of the chair
Committee: Subcommittee on Elections
Chair: Dehn
Vice Chair: Bahner
Minority Lead: Nash
Members: Bernardy, Halverson, Mann, Neu, O’Driscoll

Thursday, March 7th

Oppose

HF870 (House) – The corporate alternative minimum tax ensures that corporations pay at least some taxes. This bill would eliminate the corporate alternative minimum tax potentially allowing some companies to pay no taxes at all
Hearing Date: 3/7/2019
Hearing Time: 8:00 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

Support

HF1251 (House) – This bill would allocate $411,000 from the Renewable Development Fund to the University of MN to produce climate change model projections in small sections accross the state. These funds have been requested for several years and have been denied. Let’s get it passed this year!
HFXXXX (House) – (Bill number not yet assigned) The bill would allocate money for the next two years for research, assessments, monitoring and evaluating trends of surface, ground and wastewater quality, identification of the causes of impaired water, and promote good practices to improve water quality in our state and beyond.

Hearing Date: 3/7/2019
Hearing Time: 12:45 PM
Committee: Environment and Natural Resources Finance Division
Chair: Hansen
Vice Chair: Claflin
Minority Lead: Fabian
Members: Backer, Becker-Finn, Ecklund, Fischer, Green, Heintzeman, Lee, Lueck, Morrison, Neu, Persell, Sandell, Sundin, Wagenius

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