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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Esther Agbaje (DFL)

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Minnesota People of Color and Indigenous Caucus celebrate 2023-2024 Legislative Session

Thursday, May 23, 2024

ST. PAUL – The 93rd Minnesota Legislature concluded its most consequential two-year session in state history on Monday, May 20, 2024. Throughout the 2023-2024 legislature, the Minnesota People of Color and Indigenous (POCI) Caucus has been steadfast in creating initiatives and policies to ensure Minnesotans from historically underrepresented and underserved communities have the resources, tools, and protections they need to thrive.  

Within the 2024 legislative session, the following POCI Caucus priority provisions were passed in the legislature:  

  • Worker protections and wage compensation equity for TNC, Uber/Lyft drivers 
  • Minnesota African American Family Preservation and Child Welfare Disproportionality Act 
  • Strengthen Paid Family and Medical Leave Law 
  • Environmental justice, air pollution regulations, establishing a Critical Materials Recovery Advisory Task Force 
  • Tenants’ Bills of Rights and investments in housing stability 
  • Economic development investments in childcare, professional development/training, and BIPOC small business owners 
  • Update the Minnesota Fair Labor Standards Act; raise the minimum wage from $8.85 to $10.85 for small employers, and employers who utilize youth wage and for J-1 visa holders. 
  • Prohibition on banning, removing, or otherwise restricting access to an otherwise age-appropriate book or other material from a school library.  
  • Return of land to Upper Sioux Tribe  
  • Requiring independent investigations for officer involved deaths 
  • Traffic Stop Reform; requires peace officers to notify drivers during a traffic stop of the reason for the stop before questioning them about their alleged violation. 
  • Eliminating prison gerrymandering  

And more! 

The POCI Caucus released the following statement:  

“In a nation as diverse as ours, true prosperity flourishes only when everyone has the opportunity to succeed. Over the past two years, we have been dedicated to centering our work on the voices and needs of those historically excluded from the democratic process. 

"We didn't just talk about equity; we actively pursued it across the aisle and within our communities. The transformative legislation we passed empowers all people, regardless of background, to reach their full potential. 

"This leadership involved leveraging our positions to champion groundbreaking legislation that protects workers, empowers families, safeguards renters, expands first-generation homeownership opportunities, and promotes bodily autonomy. We are incredibly proud of the work we were able to accomplish in the most monumental legislative session in Minnesota history and look forward to continuing our work for generations to come.” 

The House POCI Caucus is comprised of; Co-Chair Rep. Esther Agbaje (59B), Co-Chair Rep. Cedrick Frazier (43A), Vice Chair Rep. Alicia ‘Liish’ Kozlowski (08B), Rep. Jamie, Becker-Finn (40B), Rep. Ethan Cha (47B), Rep. Mary Frances Clardy (53A), Rep. Cedrick Frazier (43A), Rep. Aisha Gomez (62A), Rep. Hodan Hassan (62B), Kaohly Vang Her (64A), Rep. Athena Hollins (66B), Rep. Samakab Hussein (65A), Rep. Heather Keeler (04A), Rep.  Fue Lee (59A), Rep. Liz Lee (67A), Rep. Mohamud Noor (60B), Rep. María Isa Pérez-Vega (65B), Rep. Samantha Sencer-Mura (63A), Rep. Samantha Vang (38B), and Rep. Jay Xiong (67B).