Week 4 of the legislative session has now finished. As legislative deadlines approach, we have seen many bills move through committee. As always, thank you for tuning in to events here at the capitol. It’s been a busy few weeks and I’ve been glad to see so many constituents come visit me in St. Paul.
Below are just some of the highlights and topics being discussed. I appreciate you all sharing your thoughts and concerns with me and look forward to another long week.
ERA MN rallies at the Capitol
Members and allies of the ERA Minnesota organization joined together in the rotunda this week for their annual International Women’s Day rally focusing on the Equal Rights Act (ERA), encouraging members and allies to get involved lobbying senators to support the movement and pass the ERA legislatively in the Senate to add the amendment to our state constitution.
The ERA is a constitutional amendment first passed in 1923 which seeks to amend the Constitution to guarantee equal legal rights for all American citizens regardless of sex. The amendment reads simply, “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.”
The amendment can be passed through the Legislature to be added to the ballot for the general election in November. The legislation has passed through all five House Committees and the House floor vote but has yet to receive a single hearing in the Senate.
I am committed to ensuring equal rights for all Minnesotans regardless of sex and will continue to fight for hearings on ERA-related bills.
The deadline to obtain a Real ID is rapidly approaching
The deadline to obtain a REAL ID is rapidly approaching. The Real ID Act was passed in 2005 by Congress as a method to combat terrorism post-9/11 but is just now being implemented in Minnesota. Starting October 1 of 2020, the law will require the possession of a REAL ID to fly domestically, enter federal courthouses, and enter military bases. To obtain a REAL ID, Minnesotans will need to bring documents proving identity, social security number, and two different documents proving Minnesota residency to the DMV. To avoid extensive time spent at the DMV, citizens of Minnesota can begin the application process online at drive.mn.gov. It is also important to note that processing could take over a month, so planning a trip to the DMV well before the deadline will be advantageous (it is recommended to apply by June 1, 2020).
Minnesota leadership strongly advises citizens to obtain a REAL ID before the deadline. Failure to do so will result in denial of boarding commercial flights as well as significant backlog later this year. Currently, the wait time for a Real ID after applying for one is 46 days, but that number could be as high as 90-120 for those who wait until after the deadline.
Please reach out to me with any questions relating to the REAL ID. I hope to act as a resource in anyway I can through the process.