End of Session Round Up – What’s Next
Monday, May 18th, marked the “end of session”, but because so many families and Minnesotans still stand in need, we are fairly certain a Special Session is on the horizon. With that in mind, it is imperative that you contact your legislators, especially your senators. What’s below explains why.
WHAT HAPPENED THIS SESSION
The MN House used this session to push for legislation that not only helped families in immediate need during this pandemic, but also to set up Minnesota for a path to a more equitable and thriving future. For example, they passed Paid Family Medical Leave and Paid Sick Days, protections and provisions for hourly educators and workers, funding for unemployment, personal protection equipment and resources for essential workers, more resources for the families who have the least through Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP), and $100 million in emergency rental and mortgage assistance. They also pushed legislation for expanding and protecting voting rights, small minority businesses, childcare assistance for providers and families, and protections and provisions for those who’ve been left out of the COVID-19 relief funds (i.e. undocumented immigrants, immigrant families, students, etc.). All of these bills and efforts show what a state government can do and be when they care for the people, both in and out of crisis.
WHY WE STILL DON’T HAVE WHAT WE NEED:
Sadly, our MN Senate has not been displaying the same level of care. Not only did Senate leadership block much of the legislation above from passing, they also attempted to push through legislation that would benefit big business and insurance companies instead. For example, while they blocked a statewide paid time to care bill, they also pushed for private insurers to sell Minnesotans paid family medical leave as a product. While they blocked paying childcare providers a fair wage, they also pushed to bail out the billionaires who own Mall of America with millions of our dollars. In countering the House’s attempt to get $100 million of our resources to our families needing to pay rent and mortgages, they offered only $30 million in assistance with political strings attached that local governments can’t set higher standards for housing materials and energy efficiency. None of this is right, and it certainly doesn’t represent the caring Minnesota that we know we can have.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
We need every Minnesotan to contact their senators including Majority Leader Senator Gazelka, today! Even if you think, believe or know that your own senator’s values are aligned with yours and the rest of Minnesota, call or email them to sure them up. Make it clear that our elected officials can’t just “agree” that we need good things in Minnesota. They must push and champion for those good things. It is when we work together, across race and religion, geography and income, that we can and will have the things we need to all thrive – not scapegoating or leaving anyone behind.
JOIN US ON THE NEXT LEVEL:
No matter how this legislative session ultimately ends, we know that our work isn’t finished. ISAIAH, along with our sister organization Faith in Minnesota, are hosting Voter Engagement trainings across the state, grounded in our shared faith agenda and all from the comfort of your home! We don’t need to remind you that 2020 is a big year… Census, Voting and preparation for a budget year next Legislative Session. Our work is cut out for us as we create a Minnesota with a robust multiracial democracy and a caring economy where everyone of us can thrive – no exceptions. Register for one of these dynamic trainings today!