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Senate Media Services

Senate Okays Funds to Boost Attorney General's Criminal Prosecution Efforts

On a vote of 35-32, the Minnesota Senate passed a measure that would provide additional funding to the Office of the Attorney General to expand legal services for enhanced criminal enforcement. According to Senator Erin Murphy, DFL-St. Paul, author of SF 33, staff and resources have been insufficient to meet demand in the criminal division of the Attorney General’s office for four years.

The additional allocation would result in ten additional attorneys and three staff. Republican lawmakers offered several amendments, including one that would create fewer new positions and another that would have required the AG’s office to submit an annual report to the legislature outlining expenditures.

Senate Passes Measure to Codify Reproductive Rights

On a party-line 34-33 vote, the Senate passed a bill Saturday, January 28, that would codify in state law an individual's access to reproductive health care. A priority of the DFL-controlled legislature, House File 1, the Protect Reproductive Options (PRO) Act, is sponsored by Senator Jennifer McEwen, DFL-Duluth.

Republicans offered several amendments that would limit the circumstances under which abortion care and sterilization could be offered, including prohibiting an abortion in the final trimester of pregnancy and requiring parental notification of a minor scheduled for an abortion procedure. The DFL majority rejected the nearly 60 amendments offered during the 17-hour session.

Governor Time Walz is expected to sign the bill into law.

The video above is part 2 of the debate, and the final speeches in support and against the measure begin at 6:47:00.

Capitol Report: Governor's Budget Proposal / Improving Worker Safety / Establishing Earned Sick and Safe Time

Senator Erin Murphy, DFL-St. Paul, is the chief author of a bill that aims to improve the working conditions of workers at Amazon warehouses in Minnesota. Senator Sandy Pappas, DFL-St. Paul, is the chief author of a bill that would require that all workers have access to paid time off. The lawmakers join Capitol Report moderator Shannon Loehrke to talk about their respective measures.

Also in the program, highlights from the Governor's budget proposal, including the response from Republican leaders. Also, the public comments on a bill to legalize the recreational adult-use of cannabis, and the Minnesota Asian and Pacific (MAP) Caucus presents their legislative priorities.

Senate Passes CROWN Act and Juneteenth State Holiday

With bipartisan support, the Senate passed two bills Thursday, January 26. Both measures were sponsored by Senate President Bobby Joe Champion, DFL-Minneapolis.

The CROWN Act, H.F. 37, would prohibit discrimination based on cultural hair styles and hair texture under the Minnesota Human Rights Act. It was approved on a vote of 45-19 and heads to the Governor’s desk for his signature.

S.F. 13 would recognize Juneteenth, June 19th, as a state holiday, commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. It passed the Senate on a vote of 57-8 and awaits action in the House of Representatives.

Bill Legalizing Cannabis Gets First Review

The first Senate hearing on SF 73, a bill that would legalize recreational adult-use of cannabis, was held by the Judiciary and Public Safety Committee Wednesday, January 25. Authored by Senator Lindsey Port, DFL-Burnsville, the measure would also create a regulatory framework for cannabis products and expunge the criminal records of people convicted of nonfelony cannabis offenses.

The committee advanced the bill without taking action, dedicating the entire meeting to public testimony and initial review of the measure. The bill will be before the Senate Commerce and Consumer Protection Committee Thursday, January 26.