St. Paul, Minn.—Senator Foung Hawj (DFL-St. Paul) joined Gov. Tim Walz for the signing ceremony of three important bills into law today. Sen. Hawj was a co-author of the lawns to legumes grant program, the second bill is Sen. Hawj’s Hmong SGU Remembrance Day, and the third is a bill to allow homeowners to reject racially restrictive covenants passed and signed into law.
“The new Lawns to Legumes grant program is focused on planting residential lawns with native vegetation and pollinator friendly plants to protect a diversity of pollinators,” Sen. Hawj said. “The goal is to distribute funds to local conservation partners later this year, who will distribute funds to landowners to plant pollinator-friendly plants. Ideally, this will lead to planting projects in the Spring or Summer of 2020.”
As an author of the Hmong SGU Remembrance Day, Sen. Hawj built coalitions and advocacy to ensure May 14 will be forever designated as a day to remember the many Hmong soldiers who fought and lost their lives for American freedoms.
“I am so very proud to play a part in honoring those who fought in support of the U.S. in the Secret War in Laos,” Sen. Hawj said. “May 14, 1975 was the last day of an airlift evacuation of soldiers and their families from a covert headquarters in Laos to a refugee camp in Thailand. This was a humble request by my elders, Hmong SGU veterans, to set May 14 as the day to remember their sacrifice. The date also signifies the end of the Secret War and the beginning of the Hmong journey to be Americans. Today, my bill to honor the legacy of Hmong SGU and families on May 14 becomes Minnesota state law.”
Finally, legislation to allow homeowners who find racially restrictive covenants on their property titles have an opportunity to place an affidavit on their title rejecting the covenant, under a legislation Sen. Hawj worked with advocates on. “This is an important bill because it confronts historical inequities in property titles,” Sen. Hawj said. “Even though it is illegal to discriminate against people when purchasing property, many titles carry racially discriminating language and now homeowners can reject the covenant.”
“It is rewarding to see the culmination of hard work come together as I stand with Gov. Walz and the authors and co-authors of these three important bills as they are signed into law today,” Sen. Hawj said.