Last week, the legislature was on Spring Recess, which gave us legislators a moment to take a breath before the last stretch of the legislative session. With budget bills starting to head to the Floor this week, we've already had some long discussions and late nights at the Capitol, which will all be very well worth it to do right by Minnesotans.
In my last update, I told you about how the House Speaker, Senate Majority Leader, and Governor Walz reached an agreement on a framework for a new state budget. Now, committees are working hard to finalize our budget bills and pass legislation to improve the lives of Minnesotans.
As Chair of the House Workforce Development Committee, I’m incredibly excited about our budget bill. Our bill will help support many fantastic organizations that focus on skills and training to help lift up Minnesotans, especially those in BIPOC communities. I will keep you updated as we make progress.
Trans Day of Visibility
On March 31, we celebrated Trans Day of Visibility with a big rally in the Capitol Rotunda. With so many states across the country enacting laws criminalizing the trans community, I’m incredibly thankful and proud to be in Minnesota, where we continue to pass legislation to protect and welcome trans people.
Thank you to everyone who joined us in our celebration.
The Democracy for the People Act
Last night, the House passed the Democracy for the People Act. The bill will protect and strengthen the freedom to vote, reduce the influence of dark money and corporations in our politics, and ensure our democracy is fair, inclusive, and responsive to the needs of Minnesotans across the state.
I am a proud supporter of the bill. Thank you to my colleague and Vice Chair of the Elections Committee, Emma Greenman, for carrying this bill.
Black Maternal Health Week
April 11-17 is 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.
Minnesotans deserve so much better. My colleagues in the Black Maternal Health Caucus are working on great legislation to close critical access gaps and improve outcomes for Black mothers and babies. I can’t wait to support their work when it heads to the Floor.
Last Monday, I had the pleasure of attending the Better Pensions Now Rally at the Capitol with educators from across the state. Thank you to Jessica Frisco and everyone who joined us.
This week, I also had the pleasure of meeting with the Karen Organization of Minnesota, a group that helps Karen refugees from Burma in the Twin Cities maintain their culture, elect community leaders, and receive assistance beyond the initial resettlement period.
Last but certainly not least, I was able to catch up with the great folks from the Land Stewardship Project who came to the Capitol to promote sustainable agriculture and the development of healthy communities.
Update your MinnesotaCare Information
Each year, Minnesotans enrolled in Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare must have their eligibility reviewed to verify they still qualify for coverage. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, this renewal process was paused, and Minnesotans enrolled in these programs maintained continuous health care coverage. This spring, when the federal health emergency ends, the standard renewal process will resume.
If you’re among the 1.5 million Minnesotans who rely on Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare, make sure your current contact information is on file, especially if you’ve moved in the last three years. Visit mn.gov/dhs/mycontactinfo or call (800) 657-3672 to update your address, phone number and email address. Also, be on the lookout for official information and instructions about how to renew your coverage, and be prepared with some documentation when it’s time to renew. Learn more at mn.gov/dhs/renewmycoverage.
House DFLers are committed to ensuring all eligible Minnesotans retain their public coverage when renewals restart while connecting those ineligible with other coverage options. Last month, lawmakers approved and Governor Walz signed into law a bill to ease this “unwinding” by investing resources for counties to process renewals, support for MNsure navigators, and making MinnesotaCare available with no premiums through June 30, 2024.
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I appreciate your attention to these legislative updates. Have a good week.