December 8, 2022

ST. PAUL, Minn. (March 14, 2017) — This week,  a bill honoring and creating a holiday for Hmong and Southeast Asian veterans was well received in committees. We will also recap the REAL ID bill (H.F. 03/S.F. 166) which surprisingly failed to pass on the Senate floor. In addition, a bill meant to increase Minnesota’s force of teachers of color and address the achievement gap was introduced and is seeing progress.

The committee deadline to pass bills to the House or Senate floor was Friday, March 10th. The next committee deadline will be the end of this week.

The Council is proud to provide these legislative updates to our community. Feel free to explore the information and resources below.

This week,  a bill honoring and creating a holiday for Hmong and Southeast Asian veterans was well received in committees. We will also recap the REAL ID bill (H.F. 03/S.F. 166) which surprisingly failed to pass on the Senate floor. In addition, a bill meant to increase Minnesota’s force of teachers of color and address the achievement gap was introduced and is seeing progress.

The committee deadline to pass bills to the House or Senate floor was Friday, March 10th. The next committee deadline will be the end of this week.

The Council is proud to provide these legislative updates to our community. Feel free to explore the information and resources below.

Legislative Summary
2017 Session: Week 11 in Review

H.F. 1409/S.F. 1585- ESTABLISHING HMONG-LAO VETERANS DAY

What is this proposal?
During the Vietnam War, many soldiers were recruited from the Hmong population of Laos in a covert CIA operation. Tens of thousands of Hmong men were recruited as soldiers over the course of what is now called the Secret War. In the first year, 20,000 Hmong soldiers joined the War; every year, around 3,000 of them lost their lives.
Now, Minnesota is home to one of the world’s largest Hmong populations. H.F. 2206 seeks to establish a state holiday to honor the Hmong and Southeast Asian veterans and allies who sacrificed for and served during these times. The Hmong veterans of the war are currently not recognized as official veterans under state law.
The bill would designate March 14th, the day that evacuations of soldiers from the area were ceased, as Southeast Asian Allies Day. Read more about the history of the Hmong and the Secret War from the Minnesota Historical Society.
What is the status of this proposal?
The bill has been heard in both the House and Senate. It has reached its Second Reading in the Senate and may be passed to the House.
The bill representing the Hmong and Southeast Asian population is carried in the House by Representative Fue Lee (DFL- Minneapolis) and in the Senate by Senator Foung Hawj (DFL- Saint Paul). Both bills have numerous co-authors and support.

H.F. 1409/S.F. 1585- INCREASING TEACHERS OF COLOR

What is this proposal?
Minnesota has a shortage of teachers of color; about 4% of teachers in MN are teachers of color. In contrast, about 31% of our students are of color. A bill to increase our teachers of color by increasing funding to grant programs and creating scholarships that would increase accessibility to education for teaching candidates.
  1. Create a scholarship program for up to $5,000/term, but not exceeding $10,000/year or $25,000 over 2.5 years.
  2. Expands the “Grants to Student Teachers in Shortage Areas” program.

It has been consistently shown that teachers of color are a vital and helpful part of a student’s academic life. The shared lived experiences, common ground and increased connection with students can cause drastic upticks in student achievement. Their presence can meet our state’s major goals related to Higher Education Attainment, World’s Best Workforce, and Achievement and Integration.

What is the status of this proposal?
This bill has made progress through both the House and Senate in the past few days.
We will continue to track this bill and look out for its inclusion in a final omnibus bill. The bill is carried in the House and Senate by Representative Bud Nornes (R- Fergus Falls) and Senator Paul Anderson (R- Plymouth), respectively.

H.F. 03/S.F. 166: REAL ID BILL 

What is this proposal? The REAL ID bill is meant to bring Minnesota in compliance with the national standard for driver’s licenses laid out by the 2005 federal REAL ID Act. Though it may seem obvious for Minnesota to comply with a national mandate, lawmakers and Minnesotans have resisted the REAL ID laws in previous years.
However, Minnesota must reach an agreement and comply with the REAL ID requirements by January 1st, 2018. If not, Minnesota residents will be unable to use their driver’s license as identification for federal services such as commercial airline flights.

What is the status of this proposal? 

This bill (H.F. 03) passed the House and was sent to the Senate in late February. However, on Tuesday, March 6th the bill failed to pass on its third reading on the Senate floor.

The bill is carried in the House and Senate by Representative Dennis Smith (R- Maple Grove) and Senator Eric Pratt (R- Prior Lake), respectively.

On the Radar

H.F. 600/S.F. 580- UNIFORM STATE LABOR STANDARDS ACT

What is this proposal?

A bill relating to sick leave and minimum wage for Minnesotan workers has been making headway through the legislature, with fierce advocates on both sides. In the past year, several community groups have pushed for an increase in the minimum wage and paid sick leave for all workers in their jurisdiction. These groups have successfully changed labor laws in several cities. However, these major changes to business practices are being questioned by some business owners and current state legislators.

The proposed bill would forbid local governments from creating laws that change the minimum wage, sick leave, work hours or benefits of their local businesses.

What is the status of this proposal?
This bill was heard in and passed the House Ways and Means committee on Monday, February 27th.

  • H.F. 600 has passed the House and is now making progress in the Senate.
  • S.F. 580 has been substituted in the Senate by H.F. 600. The bill has passed Senate committees and has received its Second Hearing.
We will keep you updated as the bill approaches its final statements. The bill is carried in the House and Senate by Representative Pat Garafolo (R- Dakota County) and Senator Jeremy Miller (R- Fillmore), respectively.

H.F. 538/S.F. 468: PERSONAL LEARNING PLANS FOR STUDENTS

What is this proposal?
If a student is not reading at his or her grade level, by the 3rd grade, their school must provide a personalized learning plan to get the student on track with their peers. This learning plan could include after-school classes, summer courses or programs to allow students to better connect with their culture. Requires that high school students who are not meeting the state testing standards must be informed that public education in Minnesota is free and open to anyone under 21.What is the status of this proposal?
This bill has had no changes or actions in the past weeks.

The bill is being carried by Rep. Drew Christensen (R- Dakota County) and Sen. Paul Utke (R- Becker).

H.F. 127/S.F. 90: FUNDING THE DOCUMENTARY VIETNAM WAR: MINNESOTA REMEMBERS

Grant $950,000 to Twin Cities Public Television (TPT)  to create a documentary highlighting the story of Minnesota veterans, including one chapter devoted to the Secret War in Laos and the history of veterans in our Southeast Asian communities.

What is the status of this proposal?
The status of this bill has not changed in recent weeks.

The bill has been carried by Rep. Bob Dettmer (DFL-Forest Lake) and Sen. Bruce Anderson (R-Buffalo).

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