Over the past week at the Capitol, we have advanced legislation that will significantly support Minnesotans across the state. Here is a look at what has been happening in and around the Capitol:
Thank you to those who were able to join my first District 59 Town Hall event. I appreciate you taking time out of your busy evening to attend the event and share your feedback with me and your Senate District 59 team. I encourage you to stay in contact with me by emailing me at email@example.com or contacting my legislative assistant, Shamat Abraha at 651-296-7189.
Here is a link to the ‘recap’ of the event Recap Link - https://fb.watch/i-yMspZCy2/
We’re Going Big So Minnesotans Can Go Home
On March 1, the House and Senate Housing Committee chairs, legislative leaders, and Minnesotans unveiled “All Roads Lead Back to Home," a visionary plan to solve Minnesota's housing crisis.
This roadmap to solve Minnesota’s housing crisis would set the goal of ending youth homelessness, cutting racial disparities in homeownership in half, and building and preserving 150,000 homes to address our severe shortage - all within the next 10 years.
To end youth homelessness by 2030, the “All Roads Lead Back to Home” plan would infuse $100 million in emergency rental assistance to help Minnesotans who are currently facing a housing crisis and provide rental assistance and housing support for 40,000 families with minor children.
You can read the full press release here- https://www.house.mn.gov/members/profile/news/15518/36559
Reforming the Eviction Process
I introduced HF 917 to make the eviction process fairer to both renters and landlords. The purpose of the bill is to build more time into the eviction process, which is currently one of the faster processes in the country. The additional time will help renters seek emergency rental assistance, find an attorney, or enter into mediation. The bill should help to keep more people in their home, landlords continue to receive rent payments, and build relationships between renters and landlords. Most renters in Minnesota are low income and often families of color, by slowing down the eviction process we can work to stop displacement of families in our state. The bill will also provide a new procedure for the summons in an eviction action, including a notice for how to get legal and financial assistance, which will support more people should they find themselves in an eviction court proceeding.
Nursing Home Workforce Standards Board
HF 908 had a public hearing in the House Human Services Finance Committee. We must improve the care our senior and elderly generation receive in nursing homes and we can do that by increasing compensation and labor standards for essential care providers. In the past couple of years, especially during the height of the pandemic, we have seen how the workforce suffered from the staffing shortage and the effects it had on elderly nursing home clients. This bill will establish a 9-member board appointed by the Governor, serving staggered terms, and comprised of workers, employers, and regulatory agencies to determine the minimum labor standards to recruit and retain a strong nursing home workforce.
Read an article on HF 908, here.
Conversion Therapy Ban
I am proud that we voted to ban the harmful practice of conversion therapy in February. It is important that we affirm and celebrate all youth no matter their identity. Thank you to all the courageous advocates in the queer community who fought to end this hateful practice.
Gov Signs Restore the Vote Legislation
On Friday, March 3, the Governor signed into law the Restore the Vote Act. With it, more than 55,000 disenfranchised Minnesotans now have the opportunity to participate in our democracy. Once you have served your time in prison, part of the rehabilitation process on your release is to ensure that you are fully reintegrated into society. I’m thankful for the advocates who continued to push for decades to make this a reality.
Pathway Home Act
As we are working to make sure more Minnesotans have a safe and stable place to live, I was glad to vote ‘YES’ to pass the Pathway Home Act. The legislation significantly increases funding to critical state programs that support shelter providers across Minnesota in their direct response and service to Minnesotans who are currently unsheltered. The Pathway Home Act invests $150 million through 2028 to create new brick-and-mortar shelters throughout Minnesota to ensure more people can receive services and housing regardless of their background or zip code.
The Pathway Home Act offers a strong foundation for the transformative work we continue to do to keep future generations of Minnesotans housed. Minnesotans deserve equitable access to housing services and support systems in their communities.
Office of Missing and Murdered Black Women and Girls
On Monday, February 20, I also voted ‘YES’ for House File 55, which would create an Office of Missing and Murdered Black Women and Girls. Black families experience a lack of urgency from our public institutions when Black women and girls are reported missing. This new office will set strong standards for promptly sending alerts and supporting the community members closest to the pain of not knowing what happened to a missing family member or loved one.
Modeled after the Office of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives, the bill would enact recommendations in the December 2022 report of the Missing and Murdered African American Women Task Force and would be dedicated to preventing and ending the targeting of violence against Black women and girls.
Thanks so much for everyone’s support in your advocacy for much of the work we’re getting done at the Capitol! I look forward to hearing from you!
Rep. Esther Agbaje
Minnesota House of Representatives