April 4, 2023
St. Paul, Minn. (Jan. 10, 2019) — The state Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans is starting the new year with a brand new email client: GovDelivery.
Followers will have more control over what they want to hear about by visiting the subscriber page to tell CAPM what topics are of most interest: Login Here.The Council looks forward to providing interesting, relevant, and tailored information, connecting you to Minnesota state government.
The 2019 Legislature ConvenesMinnesota’s legislature finds itself in an exciting and interesting position in 2019. We welcome in our largest caucus of Asian Pacific Islander (API) legislators in history, with the newly established Minnesota Asian Pacific (MAP) Caucus. The MAP Caucus consists of newly-elected Rep. Samantha Vang, Rep. Kaohly Her, Rep. Jay Xiong and Rep. Tou Xiong, who join incumbent Rep. Fue Lee in the House. Membership also includes Senator Foung Hawj in the Senate, totaling 6 MAP Caucus members.In 2019, Minnesota also stands out as the only split legislature in the nation, with the House and Senate majority held by opposite parties. Our newly elected governor Tim Walz has just brought in his team of commissioners, assistant commissioners and leadership. Plus, it is the first year of the 2019-2020 biennium, which means that the state’s $40 billion dollar budget is up for debate. The Council will be here to guide you through the week’s events, every Friday. The CalendarThe first day of the legislative session was this Tuesday, January 8th. The last day will be Monday, May 20th. Within the next 5 months, legislators of both houses will hear thousands of bills introduced, pass some of them through the committee process, decide on a balanced budget, and forward these to the governor for approval.Based on past years, bills will need to pass at least one body of the legislature (House or Senate) by mid-March. They will need to pass the second body by the end of March. Major finance bills will need to be passed by the end of April.This means the first half of session will be a process of paring down bills in committees. The last half will see the surviving bills honed, adjusted, and finalized with budgets and/or policy changes.
The StructureAs of the elections last November, Minnesota’s legislature is now split. The House of Representatives is now led by the Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) Party, which holds a majority with 75 DFL members, 55 Republican members, and 4 members of the newly formed New Republican Caucus. The Senate remains led by Republican Party with 34 Republican Members, 32 DFL members, and one vacant seat due to the appointment of Senator Lourey as the new Minnesota Commissioner of Human Services. A special election will be held for his seat. Bills must pass committees in both the House and Senate. To view all House committees, visit here. To view all Senate committees, visit here. Committees act as a filter for bills. Bills are referred to a committee for review depending on what area of law the bill affects and whether or not the bill allocates money. For example, a healthcare-related bill would travel through the Health and Human Services Policy Committee in the House.If the bill reaches the governor’s office, the governor then decides to sign the bill into law or has the power to veto the bill.Inform.mn is a great local resource for helping understand Minnesota’s legislative processes. 2019 CAPM Legislative PrioritiesThe Council will be tracking bills all throughout the session and taking legislative action (supporting, opposing, and proposing) bills according to the Legislative Priorities laid out by our community board members. Legislative PrioritiesPursuant to Minn. Stat. § 15.0145, the Council works toward economic, social, legal, and political equality for Minnesotans of Asian and Pacific Islander (API) heritage.Priority Issues* 
The Council will actively track and pursue legislation in the following areas:Higher Education Affordability and AccessData DisaggregationHealthcare AccessEquity and Social JusticeImmigration RightsOn-going Positions 
The Council will actively advocate for legislation that achieves the following:Programs and services that are respectful of and responsive to the linguistically and culturally diverse communities of Minnesota, including Asian Pacific Minnesotans.Continued collection of more nuanced data, such as data being collected by the Department of Education pursuant to the All Kids Count Act, to better inform policy-making on issues of importance to Asian Pacific Minnesotans.Increased understanding of the causes and prevention of violence against Minnesota’s Asian Pacific women and children.  * – These issues were self-identified as high priority in the 2019 Legislative Priorities Survey.  2019 CAPM Legislative InitiativesIn the 2019 legislative session, to ensure that we continue to deliver on our statutory duties and policy objectives, we are committed to several initiatives.First, we will work with the Legislature and the Governor’s Office to secure our FY 20-21 biennial budget requests.Second, we will work with the Legislature to pass two bills:1) A bill that will create a Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Prevention ProgramA $5 million grant fund, housed in the Department of Health’s Injury and Violence Prevention Unit, to fund state-wide, community-driven, and culturally relevant prevention programming2) A bill that will help ensure Minnesotans have access to quality medical interpretersA registry system to replace the current roster system in order to give more transparency to medical interpreters’ qualificationsUpdates will be sent out regularly regarding these initiatives. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact Katy Sly, the Council’s Legislative Liaison, at [email protected]. Staying UpdatedFollow us on Facebook and through the Council’s Session Update each Friday, as we inform you about bills of interest to the API community. If you are interested in knowing more about the legislative process, how to get in touch with your representatives, and/or how to advocate for a particular bill or issue during the legislative session, please reach out, we are happy to hear from you.We also encourage you stay informed by tracking committees and other news on the Minnesota Legislature website, following your legislators on social media, and keeping an eye on local news.Get in touch with the Council through Facebook or via email at [email protected].

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