Legislative Update: Apr 22, 2016

Legislative Update: Apr 22, 2016

A Look At What’s Happening At The Capitol
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April 22, 2016

Legislative Issues Update

Welcome to this week’s ISAIAH Legislative Issues Update for the 2016 Minnesota legislative session.  As people of faith, we believe our moral compass comes from the things God calls us to do. During this legislative session, the ISAIAH community is acting out of a fundamental set of values – dignity, inclusion, equity and redemption. Working together with our state leaders, we will put the truth of God’s love back at the center of our lives and our society.


Racial Justice Day March and Rally at the Capitol

On Tuesday, 150 ISAIAH clergy and faith leaders marched silently through the Capitol with their mouths taped shut to symbolize the millions of people who have been and who are being silenced through mass incarceration, deportation, overpolicing, and economic violence.

After the march, they rallied outside the State Office Building to decry the Minnesota House Leadership’s refusal to allow hearings on proposals designed to close racial disparities in Minnesota, including Restore the Vote, Sentencing Reform, Juvenile Justice Reform, and Driver’s Licenses for All. Marchers pointed out that proposals supported by House Leadership, such as the leasing of a private prison, will continue the exploitation of communities of color.  

“We are here seeking to stimulate a more meaningful conversation around the harsh and unfair laws and sentences which are largely responsible for mass incarceration and pervasive racial disparities across our state,” declared the Rev. Melvin Miller from Progressive Baptist Church in St. Paul. 

Following the rally, clergy and leaders met with Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk and Rep. Tony Cornish, Chair of the House Public Safety and Crime Prevention Policy and Finance Committee to express their distress at the lack of progress on these issues.

The event was part of a national week of action led by and coordinated with Healthy Heartlands, a collaborative of community organizers and public health officials in Minnesota and six other states – Florida, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin – focused on improving health equity.  

Paid Family Leave

Paid Family Leave legislation passed the Senate Finance Committee this week and will be heard next week in the Senate Taxes Committee. If it passes in this Committee, it will move to the Senate floor.  

Earned Sick & Safe Time

Dan Swenson Klatt, ISAIAH leader and member of Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, is speaking his values as the owner of Butter Bakery Cafe.  Dan has met with Minneapolis councilmembers and the Mayor, has joined press calls, written a letter to the editor, and was featured in a recent video about paid sick days.

Dan is a member of Main Street Alliance of MN, a coalition that works to provide small businesses a voice on the most pressing public policy issues in Minnesota and nationally. Their advocacy promotes vibrant businesses and healthy communities, and fosters leadership development of socially responsible business leaders. Go here to learn more about this member of  Minnesotans for Paid Family Leave.


In Other News …

A national survey of 1,000 business executives shows widespread business support for policies like higher minimum wage and paid leave. You can read more about it in this Washington Post article.

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