Legislative Update

State Capitol February 25, 2015 Edition

The 2015 legislative session is gathering speed with more bill introductions and committee hearings happening regularly in both chambers. A few early bills are starting to make their way to the floor for final passage, but most proposals are still working though the committee process. The first policy bill deadline is on March 20th, less than one month from today.

MDHR Commissioner’s Confirmation Hearing

Commissioner Lindsey will appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday, Feb. 26 at noon held in Room 15 of the State Capitol for his confirmation hearing.

MDHR Budget Bill

The Department of Human Right’s budget proposal was introduced in both the House and Senate as part of an omnibus criminal justice finance bill (SF878/HF849). It is being authored by Sen. Ron Latz (D-St. Louis Park) and Rep. Tony Cornish (R-Vernon Center). The bill has not yet been heard in committee in either chamber.

MDHR Policy Bills

The Department is in the process of finalizing a couple of policy proposals and will be announcing 2015 policy initiatives soon.

Felon Voting Restoration

A bipartisan bill (SF355/HF342) to restore voting rights to individuals with felony convictions who are living in the community passed its first committee. On Thursday, Feb. 19, SF355 passed in the Senate Judiciary Committee on a voice vote with bipartisan support. MPR News reports that supporters testifying in favor of the bill included Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman and Republican Liberty Caucus vice chair Walter Hudson.

Early Voting Passes Senate Subcommittee on Elections

A bill (SF414) to allow early voting up to 15 days before Election Day passed its first committee stop, the Senate Subcommittee on Elections, on Thursday. It was re-referred to the Committee on Rules and Administration. This proposal does not yet have a House companion bill. MPR reported on its passage.

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