From Rep. Esther Agbaje <[email protected]>
Subject Legislative Update 04/17/2023
Date April 17, 2023 8:10 PM
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Friends and Neighbors,

We are heading into the busy season at the legislature over the next few weeks. We will shift our focus to budget bills and voting on policy bill packages. While this work requires a myriad of tenacity and resilience, I am motivated by the stories and lived experiences of people across the state, especially by many of you who have taken the time to come to St. Paul and share your testimony on a number of bills. It is an honor to serve our community and bring life-enhancing impacts for all Minnesotans.


*_Holy Month- Easter, Ramadan, Passover_*

It is a Holy season indeed! I hope everyone who celebrates Passover and Easter had a joyous celebration with their families and community. As our Muslim brothers and sisters continue to celebrate Ramadan, I hope you found time for rest, reflection, and rejuvenation. The House and Senate joined by Governor Tim Walz and Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan gathered for our first Iftar since 2019. I want to thank Speaker of the House Melissa Hortman and President of the Senate Bobby Joe Champion for hosting a beautiful gathering.

Thank you to the Muslim American Society of Minnesota for inviting members of the community to join us.

While we have made a great deal of progress together this session, there is nothing quite like sharing a meal to bring people together, celebrating community, and uplifting each other's stories and rich cultures. I am already looking forward to next year.


*_Black Maternal Health Week_*

April 11-17 was Black Maternal Health Week. Black Maternal Health Week, originated by the Black Mamas Matter Alliance, was created to raise awareness of diminished maternal health outcomes in America, especially among Black women.

In the U.S., maternal mortality rates have steadily increased since the 1990s with a sharp 64 percent rise between 2019 and 2021, according to recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The United States has had one of the highest maternal mortality rates among economically comparable countries for many years. Hennepin County has the largest concentration of African Americans in Minnesota, and here the infant mortality rate among U.S.-born African Americans is 3.4 times higher than among white infants.

I am proud to be a member of the Black Maternal Health Caucus. We are working to enhance equitable and culturally competent prenatal care and postnatal care to lower the mortality rates among our Black babies and increase strategies to improve their quality of life starting at birth.?


*_Minnesota Women?s Press_*

I joined community advocates and leaders at the ?What We Can Do Together About Gender-Based Violence? event hosted by the Minnesota Women?s Press.

It was an honor to speak with Rev. Kelli Clement and Changemakers Alliance Outreach Director Crystal Brown about the next steps in securing Minnesota as a safe haven for reproductive health care. I spoke about the recent passage in the House of the Reproductive Freedom Defense Act and how it will protect the fundamental rights of Minnesota health care providers and patients from legal attacks and criminal penalties imposed by anti-abortion extremists in other states.

You can read more from the conversation here [ [link removed] ].


Photo credit: Sarah Whiting Photography

*_Nursing Home Workforce Standards Board_*

It was an honor to interview with the New York Times to talk about my bill to establish the Minnesota Nursing Home Workforce Standards Board. I was joined by advocates to talk about the significance of this legislation and how it will set industry wide standards regarding compensation and benefits for nursing home workers.

Our senior and aging citizens deserve to be cared for with dignity and high-quality treatment. I am proud to work to advance this bill in the House.

Follow the bill here [ [link removed] ].


*_Public Works _*

Living in Minnesota, we know that the seasonal changes can be problematic to our roads, especially when potholes are created. The city is asking for the public?s help to report potholes to 311. Public Works uses those reports to help prioritize work and take care of street issues as efficiently and effectively as possible.

Potholes form when water enters cracks in the streets, freezes, expands and then breaks up the pavement. While it?s typical to see potholes form in the winter and spring, we?re seeing more potholes than usual because this winter has had more freeze-thaw cycles than usual.

Here is the process to submit claims [ [link removed] ] to the City of Minneapolis. Please note that claims will be public data.

*_Stay_**_ connected with the legislature_*

It is easy to stay connected to news from the State Capitol. The Minnesota House of Representatives Public Information Services offers nonpartisan recaps of high-profile bills, committee hearings, and floor sessions with their Session Daily [ [link removed] ] publication. Subscribe to receive these here [ [link removed] ]. To track bills of interest through the legislative process, I encourage you to utilize the MyBills [ [link removed] ] feature on the Minnesota House of Representatives? website [ [link removed] ].?

Please continue to reach out with any input, ideas, or feedback about the issues important to you. I value hearing from you, so call or email any time.


In community,

Rep. Esther Agbaje

Minnesota House of Representatives

Committee Assignments:

* *Vice *Chair Housing Finance and Policy
* Taxes
* Ways and Means
* Elections Finance and Policy

*Legislative Assistance *

Shamat Abraha

[email protected]


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