Senate DFL Week In Review: February 24, 2017

The Sunday liquor sales debate dominated the headlines this week. The House passed the bill with a wide margin on Monday, followed by the Senate Commerce Committee passing the bill to the Senate floor.

Senators held a Twitter Town Hall following the committee hearing on Wednesday to add more voices to the conversation. The vast majority of the discussion was positive, with constituents from across the state asking when the bill would be voted on, and when it could potentially go into effect.

It was a busy week full of committee hearings as well. The Senate Judiciary Committee held a contentious hearing on several protest-related bills. All of the testifiers who attended the committee testified against the bill – which they say would threaten their first amendment rights.

This Week In the Senate

Gun violence prevention

On February 23, a group of legislators joined with several police chiefs, the Hennepin County Attorney, respected gun violence prevention advocates, and families affected by gun violence to unveil three bills to address the growing problem of gun violence.

The first bill, The Taylor Hayden Gun Violence Prevention Act, is designed to reduce the number of injuries and deaths of innocent victims of gun violence. Through a competitive bidding process, the legislation appropriates $400,000 to community organizations with expertise in gun violence prevention. The legislation is in honor of Sen. Jeff Hayden’s late sister, Taylor, who was killed last August by a bullet intended for someone else, and who would have turned 26 this week.

Bipartisan legislators unveil Opioid Reform Act

A bipartisan group of lawmakers joined with Attorney General Lori Swanson, doctors, law enforcement, and people affected by opioid addiction on this week to unveil the Opioid Reform Act, a series of bills designed to combat opioid abuse.

Dyslexia Day at the Capitol

The advocacy group Decoding Dyslexia: Minnesota held a rally this week for Dyslexia Day at the Capitol. Students and parents shared personal stories about their struggles with dyslexia, a language-based learning disability which results in a cluster of symptoms that make learning to read unusually challenging.