Legislative Update: May 13, 2016

Legislative Update: May 13, 2016


A Look At What’s Happening At The Capitol
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May 13, 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.

Paid Family Leave Passed in Senate! 

The Senate passed the Paid Family Leave bill on Wednesday. When making their case of support, both Sen. Rod Skoe and Sen. Katie Sieben referenced stories shared by ISAIAH leaders in committee testimony. Our organizing helped make this possible!

Now we must move the House to action so that we are able to care for our loved ones. Join us for a Paid Family Leave Rally at the Capitol – May 17 at Noon.  Click here for more information and to register.


Photo by Pioneer Press: Jean Pieri)

Northstar Rail Extension

St. Cloud Organizer, Anne Buckvold is featured in this Pioneer Press article about how grassroots organizing makes a difference. GRIP / ISAIAH leaders in St. Cloud have put the Northstar train back on track! Now we need Rep. Jim Knobloch and all our state leaders to do the right thing and get this done for Greater Minnesota as part of a comprehensive, sustainable transportation package.


Driver’s Licenses

Until the administrative rules were changed under Governor Pawlenty in 2003, immigrants in Minnesota did not have to show proof of citizenship to apply for a Driver’s License. Since then, thousands of immigrant mothers and fathers live in daily fear of being ripped apart from their families for driving without a license.

Last year, hundreds of Latino ISAIAH leaders worked hard to pass the Safe Roads bill, to allow access to Driver’s Licenses without regard to immigration status. This year, as the Legislature grapples with the federal requirements for a REAL ID, the issue of licenses for immigrants has come up again.

On Wednesday, the House GOP leadership pushed through an amendment to their REAL ID bill that would slam the door on our immigrant brothers and sisters. Fortunately, on Thursday the Senate passed a good REAL ID bill with strong bipartisan support.  Stay tuned for action alerts as this moves to conference committee!



Earned Sick and Safe Time for St. Paul Employees

The critical conversation about ensuring that all workers can take sick leave is moving forward in St. Paul. A sick and safe time task force was formed and began meeting in early March and will present recommendations to the city’s Human Rights and Equal Economic Opportunity Commission by May 17. After talking to several of the task force members, Frederick Melo wrote an article for the St. Paul Pioneer Press about the issue and the work of the task force. In the article, Dr. Stefen Pomrenke from Christ Lutheran Church is interviewed:

“Pomrenke, who represents ISAIAH, a network of faith-based organizations, said he frequently sees low-income patients with fully treatable conditions who should stay home to recover. Instead, they go to work to afford their rent, and their conditions worsen with time.”

“From the perspective of ISAIAH, humans are children of God, and we all deserve dignity, and we all get sick,” said Pomrenke, in an interview. “And we live in the city of St. Paul, and our motto is ‘the most livable city in America.’ I think this is a distinct part in history in which we can actually make that happen, in which we can make it the most livable city for dignity, for people, for equity.”

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