MINNEAPOLIS (April 24, 2017) — Voices For Racial Justice, in partnership with community leaders and partners from organizations working on multiple issues across the state, released the 2017 legislative racial equity bill watch this morning.
Bills were selected based on their potential to impact racial disparities in the state positively or negatively. More about the criteria used to determine the racial equity impact of selected bills can be found accompanying the list.
At this time, Voices for Racial Justice and community partners have identified 72 bills that work to advance racial equity, and 21 bills that work to hinder racial equity in our state.
“This is out of a total of over 2000 bills introduced in the Senate and over 2000 bills introduced in the House,” said Brett Grant, research and policy director for Voices For Racial Justice. “Obviously, the bills selected are not all the bills that have to do with racial equity, but what it shows is that we’ve got a lot of work to do to advance racial equity in this state.”
The 2017 bill watch is a working list that will be updated and changed continuously until the end of the session. Although many of the positive racial equity bills contained in the list may not progress further in the legislative process, it is important to recognize the missed opportunities the bills represent to advance racial equity in a state that continues to have some of the worst racial and economic disparities in the nation, according to Voices For Racial Justice.
Most of the bills listed in the bill watch relate to the 2017 Our Minnesota Racial Equity Legislative Agenda that was released at the start of the legislative session. The bills will be included in the 2017-18 Our Minnesota Legislative Report Card on Racial Equity, which will be released at the end of the 2018 legislative session.
The 2017 bill watch can be found on the Voices For Racial Justice Website at the following link.