A Legislative Update from JCA

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As the legislative sessions draws to a close at the Capitol, we wanted to fill you in on some of the work we've been a part of, and what we've got coming up this summer.

As you may have read, this session is going to end without a whole lot of new policy. With a few exceptions, the bills we and our partners have been pushing at the Capitol will have to wait until next session. That means HF 1500 and HF 40, the Drivers Licenses for All and Restore the Vote bills, which passed out of the House, will be tabled until next time. So will HF 741, the bill we've been working on that would limit cash bail. 

One exception that we're excited about is the inclusion of funding for the Office of the Ombudsman for Corrections, a program originally created to facilitate communication and transparency between incarcerated people and corrections officials. This program was eliminated by Governor Pawlenty in 2003, despite dealing with more than 5,000 complaints a year from inmates. We've been in support of bringing this program back for years, so we're glad to see it included in the budget. You can learn more about the history of the program here.

So while we move into the summer, with the difficulties of divided government fresh in our minds, we wanted to let you know that we're in the process of planning some big new things. We'll be bringing our Deep Canvass program out to St. Louis Park, and restarting some of our voter registration and engagement campaigns.

The pieces of legislation we worked on this session aren't dead. The fact most passed through the House shows us just how close we are to accomplishing things we and our allies have been advocating for for years.

So this summer we're gonna gear up, get out on the doors, and advocate for government that works for marginalized communities - not against them. Keep your eyes open for more updates and opportunities to work with us on these critical issues.

We can't wait for you to join us. 

Isaiah Breen

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