A few weeks ago, Alpha News reported on the introduction of the Student Safety and Physical Privacy Act in the Minnesota House (HF 1546) and Senate (SF 1543). The bill– that would have prohibited students from using bathrooms and locker rooms of a different biological sex– was quickly shuttled through the full Senate where it received a strong “No” vote by the DFL-controlled body failing 28-37.
The vote was party-line and a picture of the roll call was tweeted by Pioneer Press political reporter Rachel Stassen-Berger. Prior to the vote, the Chief Author in the Senate, Sen David Brown, R-Becker, sat down to discuss the legislation with Alpha News.
The regular hearing deadlines in both the House and Senate have passed, however one House Republican committee Chair has opened up the possibility for an informational hearing now that spring break has concluded.
Rep Jenifer Loon, R-Eden Prairie, sent an email to constituents on Monday stating that the bill had been referred to the Education Innovation and Policy Committee, Chaired by Rep Sondra Erickson, R-Princeton. Loon also stated that she believed an informational hearing would be scheduled on the bill in the next few weeks.
Since our March 16th post, the House bill has added ten new co-sponsors, including Majority Leader Rep Joyce Peppin, R-Rogers. Out of twenty-nine signers, there are no Democrats supporting the legislation. Rep Tim Miller, R-Prinsburg, is the Chief Author of the House bill.
The Child Protection League released a poll in February which found that 76% of Minnesotans support legislation that would effectively overturn the action last fall by the Minnesota State High School League which allowed for biological boys to play on girls teams and share locker room and bathroom facilities.
The fact that the hearing is likely to be “informational” and scheduled after regular deadlines doesn’t bode well for the bill’s success, however it’s possible to make it to the House floor as an amendment to a larger education bill.