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Human Rights at the State Capitol: Week 1 January 25-29

Date: January 28, 2021
Country: United States of America
Type: Post
Issues: Racial Justice

It is a truth universally accepted that everyone has human rights. These rights are indivisible, interrelated, and interdependent. One right does not stand siloed from other rights, and fulfilling one right requires that other rights are fulfilled, too.

We see this principle reflected in the Minnesota Legislature’s work this week. Several committees in the Minnesota House of Representatives are reviewing the Select Committee on Racial Justice Report to the Legislature. The Racial Justice Report describes the “Minnesota Paradox,” in which some Minnesotans experience a high quality of life, and others experience some of the worst racial disparities in the country in unemployment, income, wealth, incarceration rates, arrest rates, homeownership rates, test scores, and life expectancy, among many others. It is important that multiple Committees view this report as relevant to their work, but it also demonstrates that racial discrimination in Minnesota is affecting the fulfillment of not just one, but several, human rights of Minnesotans.

We begin this series on Human Rights at the State Capitol in the hope that the Minnesota Legislature’s activities continue to reflect the understanding that when one human right is not fulfilled, others are impacted. You can take action by watching hearings online (either live or recorded) and contacting your representatives on issues that are important to you.

Minnesota House of Representatives hearing schedules and links:

January 25:

Ways and Means (recorded): Review of the Select Committee on Racial Justice Report to the Legislature

Education Policy (recorded): Addressing Racial Disparities in Education

January 26:

Capital Investment (recorded): economic impact of racism and need for equity in capital projects (includes link to the Racial Justice Report)

Judiciary Finance and Civil Law (recorded): Evictions and the Courts

Housing Finance and Policy (recorded): presentation reviewing the COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program and previewing the incoming federal emergency rental assistance funding.

Public Safety and Criminal Justice Reform Finance and Policy (recorded): Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Taskforce Report Presentation and U-Visa certification documents timely process required by certifying entities. You can read The Advocates’ testimony supporting HF321 here.

January 27:

Human Services Finance and Policy at 10:30 a.m.: Select Committee on Racial Justice Report Highlights. Recordings of past hearings are also available.

Preventing Homelessness Division at 10:30 a.m.: DOC presentation on incarceration and housing insecurity. Recordings of past hearings are also available.

Workforce and Business Development Finance and Policy at 1 p.m.: Presentation on the Report from the House Select Committee on Racial Justice. Recordings of past hearings are also available.

January 28:

Capital Investment at 8:30 a.m.: What could equity investments in capital projects look like? Recordings of past hearings are also available.

Early Childhood Finance and Policy at 8:30 a.m.: presentation on impacts of economic disparities in early childhood. Recordings of past hearings are also available.

Housing Finance and Policy at 10:30 a.m.: overview from HOME Line and MLA on issues facing Minnesota’s renters. Recordings of past hearings are also available.

Public Safety and Criminal Justice Reform Finance and Policy at 1 p.m.: Law Enforcement in Greater Minnesota. Recordings of past hearings are also available.

January 29:

Public Safety and Criminal Justice Reform Finance and Policy at 10:30 a.m.: Community Centered Public Safety in Greater Minnesota. Recordings of past hearings are also available.

In other news, Governor Walz submitted his biennial budget proposal to the Minnesota Legislature on January 26. Minnesota’s COVID-19 Recovery Budget proposal addresses many topics that will impact human rights in Minnesota, including ensuring access to high-quality education, additional funding for the Economic Development and Housing Challenge program, and increasing tax credits, such as the Working Families Tax Credit. A summary of the proposal is available on the Governor’s website.