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Gov. Walz signs CROWN Act into law

The legislation protects natural hairstyles from discrimination by adding to the definition of race in the Minnesota Human Rights Act.
Credit: KARE 11
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz signs the PRO Act

ST PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has signed the Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair (CROWN) Act into law. 

The act “adds a definition of race to the Minnesota Human Rights Act to explicitly protect natural hairstyles and textures, including but not limited to braids, locks, and twists,”.

“Discrimination has no place in Minnesota,” said Governor Walz, in a release Wednesday. “By signing the CROWN Act, we are sending a message that Black Minnesotans deserve to live and work free from discrimination. Today we are taking an important step in creating a more equitable Minnesota.”

The bill, also known as HF 37 Ch.3, was sponsored by Minnesota State Rep. Esther Agbaje and Senate President Bobby Joe Champion. 

"The CROWN Act brings clarity to ensure no Minnesotan now or in the future can be discriminated against because of their natural hair,” said Champion.

Various iterations of the act have passed the Minnesota House three times, but it was never brought up for a vote in the Senate.

The CROWN Act, along with another bill that would recognize Juneteenth as a holiday, passed the Senate with 45-19 vote on Jan. 26. 

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