RIGHTS BLOG: Updates from the Department of Human Rights


Posted on 3/24/14

Fifty years ago, our nation was on a journey that would transform civil rights in America for years to come.

Today, MDHR begins commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which is the nation’s benchmark civil rights legislation. The legislation not only ended the application of “Jim Crow” laws – upheld by the Supreme Court in the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson case – it paved the way for future anti-discrimination legislation, including the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

The Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin. MDHR will track points in history leading up to the historical signing of the bill into law on July 2, 1964.

Civil Rights Legislation presented

On November 20, 1963, the House Judiciary Committee presented the Civil Rights Act legislation to the full House. Only two days later, President Kennedy was assassinated. Once President Lyndon B. Johnson took office, he made it clear that civil rights would be one of the nation’s top priorities. In his first State of the Union address, Johnson said, “Let this session of Congress be known as the first session which did more for civil rights than the last hundred sessions combined.”

Join MDHR on social media as we follow this historic civil rights legislation.




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Posted on 3/5/14

MDHR'S proposed technical agency bill clarifies and streamlines three statutes related to contract compliance as part of Governor Mark Dayton’s Unsession focus to eliminate unneeded laws.

For the 2014 Legislative Session, which began last week, the Minnesota Department of Human Rights is proposing a technical bill (HF2372/SF2306) that will revise three statutes that relate to contract compliance. The bill is aimed at improving the readability and clarity of the language in the Certificates of Compliance for Public Contracts statutes, which include Minn. Stat. 363A.36, Minn. Stat. 363A.37, and Minn. Stat. 473.144.

The mission of this technical bill aligns with the Governor’s Unsession initiative. The Governor’s plan, announced this week, would eliminate over 1,000 obsolete, incomprehensible, or redundant statutes. Ultimately, the goal is to improve Minnesota’s government by making it more efficient. This will not affect the meaning of Minn. Stat. 363A.36 and Minn. Stat. 363A.37. The bill streamlines the language of Minn. Stat. 473.144 and also alters the length of time certificates of compliance are valid from 2 years to 4 years to align with changes made in 2013. The proposal has no fiscal impact.