Coronavirus News Overshadows Controversial MN Democrat Bills

One bill seeks to reclassify the amount of marijuana needed to roll 85 joints as a "small amount."

Coronavirus may have distracted media attention away from several controversial bills introduced recently by Minnesota House Democrats.

Since COVID-19 arrived in the United States, news outlets have been hard at work covering the spread of the virus and the response of our nation’s leaders. During this time of great public concern about a single issue, U.S. Congress has been accused of advancing legislation and spending provisions that would otherwise be criticized in the regular media environment.

One example of such a bill is the “Earn It Act,” which some claim would violate the First Amendment by limiting what internet users can say online, according to The Verge.

However it’s not just proposed federal legislation that may have flown under the radar admit the COVID-19 epidemic. Minnesota House Democrats have introduced dozens of bills since coronavirus was first spotted in their state in early March.

One such bill, HF 4120 was introduced early this month by Democratic Representatives Alice Mann and Aisha Gomez. If passed into law, this legislation would enable minors to obtain abortions without notifying their parents, so long as a judge determines that a child is “mature and capable of giving informed consent to the proposed abortion.”

Representatives Mann (left) and Gomez (right) authored HF 4120 which presently sits with the House Health and Human Services Policy Committee.

Gomez also has a bill under consideration that relaxes penalties for marijuana offences and classifies up to 42.5 grams of marijuana as a “small amount.” For reference, that’s about enough marijuana to roll 85 joints, according to Leafly.

House Democrats also introduced a bill early this month that seeks to automatically register Minnesotans to vote when renewing drivers licences. This proposed legislation also stipulates that the process of buying a hunting or fishing licence online will be turned into a means of voter registration.

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Democratic Representative Alice Hausman’s HF 3938 was also introduced this month with a lofty goal: to become a law that “ends Minnesota’s contribution to greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels.”

HF 3982 was introduced alongside Hausman’s bill and seeks to give the commissioner of the Pollution Control Agency $5,000,000 he or she can award to cities that fight “climate change.”

Democratic Representative Tim Mahoney along with six others have a bill in the House Judiciary Finance and Civil Law Committee that, if passed into law, would declare it a violation of “human rights” for an employer to inquire about a prospective employee’s previous pay.