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During my time as your state representative, I?ve worked hard to prioritize communicating and reaching out to you and members of our community through town halls, office hours, constituent meetings, emails and phone calls, and of course this e-newsletter. That?s why it?s important that I give you a heads up about an important deadline -- July 22nd -- that will change the way I can communicate with you through the end of the year.?
This Friday, July 22nd, marks the 60-day deadline out from the legislative session after which state law prohibits members of the legislature from proactively reaching out to constituents through e-updates from their legislative offices. This law is designed to keep our elections fair and competitive by ensuring that incumbent candidates don?t use official resources for an advantage in the months leading up to an election. I can still respond to your calls, emails and events if you reach out to me and our office.?
Though this is an important measure in election fairness, it is also hard for me because I believe district outreach and sharing information is extremely important so you can know about my work and the resources available to our community. Please continue to reach out to my office? - you can always reach me at [email protected]. I will continue to provide information and resources in the interim through my official Facebook [ [link removed] ] page.
Our House Higher Education Committee frequently discussed the importance of having Indigenous representation on the University of Minnesota Board of Regents, a board that often makes decisions affecting Native students and the sovereign tribes in Minnesota. This week, Governor Walz and Lieutenant Governor Flanagan announced the appointment of Tadd Johnson [ [link removed] ] to the board, making him the first Indigenous regent in state history.
This historic appointment is made possible by the continued advocacy of tribes and community members across the state to see representation at every level. Congrats, Regent Johnson!
After the Supreme Court?s decision overturning Roe v. Wade, Minnesota has an important role in providing safe and legal abortion care to women in Minnesota and those traveling from neighboring states where the practice is now illegal. This week, I joined my colleagues in the Reproductive Freedom Caucus to tour Whole Woman?s Health Clinic, met their amazing staff, and learned about the compassionate, safe, and affordable abortion care they are providing. The clinic, like abortion clinics throughout Minnesota, is seeing an uptick in out-of-state patients seeking abortion care.?
We got some good news on that front this week with the state court ruling [ [link removed] ] striking down many of Minnesota?s outdated and harmful abortion restrictions. Ramsey County District Judge Thomas Gilligan struck down laws related to parental notification, hospitalization, mandated physician care and minor consent. The district court held that these unnecessary restrictions violated the rights provided in the Minnesota Constitution. Women who are making a tough decision about their own healthcare shouldn?t have to jump through hoops to get the care they deserve and need. This will help clinics like Whole Woman?s Health provide more timely and responsive care and expand the pool of available providers at a moment when that is urgently needed to serve the uptick of patients.
The district court held that these unnecessary restrictions violated the rights provided in the Minnesota Constitution:
- 24hr waiting period?
- Forcing doctors to give patients misinformation
- Dual-parent notification for minors?
- Ban on abortion care from advanced-practice clinicians?
It is critical we stand up and stand together for reproductive freedom for everyone. I?m proud to have stood with thousands of Minnesotans [ [link removed] ] and my fellow members of the Reproductive Freedom Caucus Sunday at the March for Abortion Access. We?re working to protect and expand reproductive healthcare in our state, not only for Minnesotans, but so we can care for those who need abortion access in our entire region.
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*Hometown Heroes Assistance Program Update*
As a result of the bipartisan Hometown Heroes Assistance Program we passed into law, we?re already seeing an immense impact on firefighters' lives across the state ? with free health and wellness resources to protect our hometown heroes and their families.
You or a firefighter you know can access these free benefits and support today. Learn more about the Hometown Heroes Assistance Program here [ [link removed] ].
With the uptick of the new COVID-19 variants, I wanted to share that free at-home COVID-19 tests are available to order here [ [link removed] ]. More COVID-19 updates are available through the Minnesota Department of Health website [ [link removed] ], or the U of M Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP [ [link removed] ]). Even with vaccinations readily available, testing remains an important step to slowing the spread and keeping others safe.
As always, it?s a privilege and an honor to serve our community in the House of Representatives. In the interim, please follow me on my official Facebook [ [link removed] ]. You can still reach me at [email protected] whenever you need anything, or would like to express your opinion on a legislative issue.
Thanks so much for your time,
A bird outside of my window.
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