Legislative Update – Mar 25, 2016

Legislative Update – Mar 25, 2016


A Look At What’s Happening At The Capitol
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March 25, 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.


Vigil to Say “No” to Private Prisons in Minnesota

On Tuesday, a bill to re-open a shuttered, 1,600-bed prison owned by Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) was approved by the House Public Safety and Crime Prevention Policy and Finance Committee and referred to the House Ways and Means Committee.

200 people from a broad coalition of community organizations (including ISAIAH), gathered at the Capitol to pray prior to the committee meeting and to rally for thousands of incarcerated Minnesotans. There were also prayers for true economic development for the Appleton, Minnesota region. 

At the hearing, 10 coalition members spoke about CCA’s horrible track record, as well as the devastating effect that building more prison beds will have on communities already impacted by over-policing and over-incarceration. The Rev. Brian Herron of Zion Baptist Church in Minneapolis said legislators should be talking about closing prisons, not opening more. “There’s no way you’re going to open something and not find a way to fill it. So it’s going to be filled with black and brown bodies,” he said. “We already know that.”

The day following the vigil, Governor Dayton announced that he will veto any legislation that opens this private prison.

Turning Over the Tables of Justice: A Holy Week Action on Payday Lending

On Monday March 21, ISAIAH congregations welcomed Federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Richard Cordray for “Turning Over the Tables of Justice, ”where he met with more than 200 ISAIAH leaders at Shiloh Temple in north Minneapolis about the national scourge of payday lending and reigning it in here in Minnesota. Click here to read more.



Northstar Rail Extension

On Thursday, March 10, 22 GRIP/ISAIAH leaders traveled to the Capitol to deliver petitions and letters of support for the extension of the Northstar rail to St. Cloud. At the Capitol, they met with Governor Dayton’s Transportation Policy Advisor and also with three other regional representatives: Rep. Howe, Rep. O’Driscoll and Rep. Theis. They also had a lengthy meeting with House Ways and Means Committee chair Rep. Jim Knoblach, who is working on a bill to extend the rail. 

Paid Family Leave

ISAIAH leaders have been holding phone banks on paid family leave at our office the past two weeks, making hundreds of calls. Leaders have heard and shared powerful stories about needing care or caring for a loved one. We are asking people we connect with to call their legislative members in support of strong paid family leave legislation. We will continue to phone bank the next two Tuesdays (March 29th and April 5th) and need more people to sign up! You can register here.

ISAIAH Pastors Decry Inaccurate Pioneer Press Editorial and Announce Paid Sick Time Campaign

ISAIAH plans to lead the campaign for paid sick days for all St. Paul workers. Rev. Bradley Schmeling, Pastor of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, announced ISAIAH’s plans to engage more than 40 St. Paul congregations to work with city council members to provide for the 72,200 St. Paul workers living without paid sick time. Click here to read the full press release.


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