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IMPORTANT UPDATE: It has come to my attention the Senate’s webform system is currently experiencing technical difficulties. If you have attempted to contact my office by using our online email webform and have not received a response, please email me or my legislative assistant directly. Our IT department is working to resolve the issues, but we unfortunately do not have an accurate timeline for when we can expect it to be fixed.

Legislation Effecting LGBTQI Minnesotans

This session, I am working with Senator Dibble and House colleagues to introduce a bill to establish an advisory council for LGBTQI Minnesotans. All Minnesotans deserve to be adequately represented within their government, and the goal of this bill is to create a council that will work for the implementation of economic, social, legal, and political equity for Minnesota’s LGBTQI community. They will ultimately work with the legislature and the governor to advise us on issues confronting LGBTQI Minnesotans.

In addition to this bill, I also signed on to chief author a bill to ban conversion therapy in the state of Minnesota. Several identical bills are being offered by my Senate colleagues as this is an incredibly important issue. As many know, conversion therapy is a practice seeking to change an individual’s sexual orientation to heterosexual. The practice is not rooted in science and is not only ineffective in ‘converting’ LGBTQ individuals, it is downright harmful to their mental health and wellbeing – particularly with our LGBTQ youth. After meeting with constituents and listening to their concerns, I am proud to offer both bills this session on their behalf. 

Constituent visits

On Tuesday, I met with a group of constituents for Education Minnesota’s Members of Color Lobby Day 2019. I always enjoy meeting with fellow educators, it gives us an opportunity to share stories and talk about the problems we face. As a professor, know I will always prioritize increasing Minnesota’s investment in public education. If you have any particular issues relating to education, please set up a meeting for us to chat about it – I want to be your advocate here at the Capitol.

Earlier this year, I received an invitation to join Arc’s Minnesota Self-Advocacy Advisory Committee as they met to discuss the issues people with disabilities face. I was honored to join their meeting Tuesday evening to engage with folks and learn more. If there is one thing I always encourage individuals to do when we are talking about my work at the Senate it is to speak up for yourself and advocate for the things that matter to you. If you or someone you know is living with a disability and would be interested in joining this committee, visit ArcMinnesota.org to learn more. Their next committee meeting is on February 13, 2019. Thank you for having me! 

Health and Human Services – 7% Cut to Disability Services

Last session, an effort was made to reverse the 7% cut to disability services Minnesota is experiencing due to a lack of funding from the federal government. Unfortunately, the bill we passed was included in the 990-page supplemental budget bill that was ultimately vetoed by Governor Dayton. Work is already underway to pass this legislation again this biennium in order to restore funding to help providers pay their staff better wages and ensure people living with disabilities get quality care. We heard two bills on this topic during my Human Services Reform Committee meeting on Thursday, and both bills will have to be laid over until the legislature receives the state’s updated budget forecast in February.

As always, please feel free to call or email if you have any questions, comments, or ideas for legislative proposals. 

– Jason Isaacson