Inside the Capitol: Standing in solidarity with hospitality workers; remaining vigilant over issues affecting the institutional Church

Supporting “Right to Recall”

The employer/employee relationship is a reciprocal one that carries with it rights and duties on the part of both actors. Employees are responsible for fulfilling their commitments to an employer by providing honest labor that produces good goods and good services. Employers are responsible for treating their employees justly and providing good work and fair pay that is consistent with each person’s dignity and family obligations (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church §§ 2427-36.)

The hospitality, travel, and entertainment industries will take time to recover and may never return to pre-COVID levels. Helping to create pathways back into employment, especially for long-term employees, limits the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on vulnerable communities. Further, many hospitality industry employees lack higher education credentials, which can make transitioning to a new job or different line of work difficult. That job scarcity underscores the importance of giving displaced workers the opportunity to get their jobs back. It is not unreasonable to expect businesses re-opening after the pandemic interruption to recall the career employees whose labor helped them build a successful enterprise.

In light of this, the Minnesota Catholic Conference (MCC) issued a letter of support for H.F. 39 (Carlson), also known as the “Right to Recall” bill. If passed, it would protect employees affected by COVID-19 restrictions by granting them the first right of refusal to reclaim their jobs when hospitality-related businesses rebound.

The Right to Recall bill passed in the House by a 70-61 vote. We now await to see if the Senate will give its companion bill a hearing.

Coalition maintains opposition to street improvement districts

In what has become a biennial tradition, MCC and a coalition of 29 religious and business organizations, including the Jewish Community Relations Council, are opposing a bill that would authorize the creation of municipal street improvement districts. Similar bills have been introduced and rejected nine times in the last 11 legislative sessions. Like its predecessors, this year’s bill, H.F. 1565 (Elkins), would give broad authority to city councils to impose an additional property tax. Under the proposal, the city would not need to prove that an affected property would benefit to justify imposing a fee. The bill is problematic for religious organizations such as Catholic churches because its fails to exempt properties identified in the Minnesota Constitution, Article X, section 1, as prohibited by state and local government from being taxed.

Action Alert

Register for Catholics at the Capitol on April 15th happening at the Cathedral of St. Paul and online. This incredible day will form you in the faith, inform you on pertinent issues, and send you on mission to transform our state as an advocate for life and dignity. In the afternoon we will host Benediction outside the State Capitol. Virtual meetings with your legislators will happen the next day.

Full details including our speakers and tickets: www.CatholicsAtTheCapitol.org.