NF LEGISLATIVE ROUNDUP: WEEK OF MAR. 29, 2021
This week, there was no shortage of headline-making bills relevant to the fight for equality in our neighborhoods. Here’s a few that caught our attention!
- Why we’re watching: Minimum sentencing laws exorbitantly punish minor crimes and disproportionately impact people of color. Arizona’s Senate Bill 1064 seeks to change that by letting drug offenders get out of prison after serving half their sentences. So far, this proposal has survived staunch opposition and we hope we can report its passage soon.
- Why we’re watching: While voting rights dominate the headlines, it’s important that we keep track of the nationwide redistricting effort. This process often falls victim to partisan influence but Colorado House Bill 1047 seeks to institute independent commissions to draw county commissioner districts. Keeping the process fair is paramount.
- Why we’re watching: A couple weeks ago, Evanston, Illinois became the first municipality to institute a reparations program by offering affordable housing grants. Now, Congress is considering a bill to study reparations: House Resolution 40. This conversation is a step forward as we atone for the discriminatory past of states across the country.
- Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA)
- Why we’re watching: In case you’ve been living under a rock, New York is the newest state to legalize the recreational use of cannabis. Provisions of the legislation include expunging criminal drug-related charges and investing in racial equity. The success of MRTA is the result of progressive lobbying and grassroots organizing in Albany that spans years.
- Why we’re watching: Unthinkably, private prisons are still largely legal in America. These for-profit incarceration centers prioritize punishment over rehabilitation, a practice which we’re glad to see Washington take steps to abolish in House Bill 1090.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or you can contact us through our contact us form. Let us know what’s happening in YOUR neighborhood!