NF LEGISLATIVE ROUNDUP: WEEK OF APRIL 19, 2021

There was no shortage of media attention surrounding social justice issues this week. Here are some of pieces of legislation that caught our eye.

Connecticut

  • SB326
    • Why we’re watching: This legislation would ban menthol-flavored cigarettes, a product enjoyed by over 80% of Black smokers. We’ve seen how prohibition works, however. This proposal will give police unnecessary license to stop and frisk Black smokers, similar to the death of Eric Garner in New York.

Federal

  • COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act
    • Why we’re watching: The COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act passed the US Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support. In a time when we’ve seen an uptick in hate crimes against members of the AAPI community, this legislation will expedite review of potential hate crimes and create a new office in the Department of Justice.
  • HR51
    • Why we’re watching: Washington D.C. deserves to be our 51st In a country founded on the principle of no taxation without representation, it’s unsurprising that HR51 passed the House this week. Now, it heads to the Senate for a more difficult floor fight.

Minnesota

  • HF600
    • Why we’re watching: As states across the country double down on legal marijuana, Minnesota isn’t going to miss out. This omnibus cannabis proposal is inching its way through the legislative process and promises to reform the criminal justice system throughout the state.

New York

  • Daniel’s Law
    • Why we’re watching: Over and over again, police officers prove that they’re incapable of handling mental health crises. In early 2020, the Rochester Police Department murdered Daniel Prude, who was suffering from a mental health episode. This proposal would create a statewide alternative to sending law enforcement in situations such as those.

What do you think of the bills in this week’s roundup? Did we miss anything? Drop us a line on any of our social channels or at info@neighborhoodforward.com or you can contact us through our contact us form. Let us know what’s happening in YOUR neighborhood!

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