House and Senate finance committees have been meeting for the last couple of weeks, combining legislation into larger budgets, or omnibus bills, to be passed on the House floor. Next week we will adjourn for an Easter/Passover break, before the legislation we’ve completed will be debated and voted on, on the House floor. Once approved by the House, conference committees will be formed with House and Senate members to negotiate these omnibus bills, before being sent to the Governor for his signature. This process will take up the remainder of session.
Highlight from Black Maternal Health Week
In the U.S., Black women are 243% more likely to die from pregnancy or child birth related causes than White women. Black babies are 250% more likely to die before their first birthdays. The disparities are real. The issue is personal and has touched my family too many times. I am committed to centering the voices closest to the pain of this issue, championing policies to address health inequities, structural racism in the health care system and our communities.
This week I got to meet with Aaliyah who is part of the organization Second People for PSEO, a nonprofit fighting for PSEO and higher education accessibility at the Legislature. All three of the organization's priorities were included in the K-12 budget, which we will finalize in the coming weeks:
1. Support transportation reimbursement for low-income students
2. Equalize online course accessibility for PSEO students
3. Require high schools to disclose information regarding PSEO at an earlier date
I'm honored to be the 2019 recipient of the Minnesota Public Health B. Robert Lewis Award. I'm proud to follow in the trailblazing footsteps of the late Senator Lewis and the other distinguished recipients of the honor, including Walter F. Mondale and Paul Wellstone.
Thankful for these constituents who came to the Capitol to advocate for our community!
I got a chance to meet with a constituent who is a member of Howling for Wolves, which supports protections for wolves.
Connected with a constituent at utilities day at the Capitol to discuss energy issues.
Met with a constituent and a master water steward on Water Action Day at the Capitol. I am grateful for all the constituents who are able to advise me on the issues they care about most.
Had a wonderful group of constituents and representatives of the ACLU visit this week.
Caught up with Justin Terrell the Executive Director of the Council for Minnesotans of African Heritage.
Had the opportunity to talk about protecting our water supply with another constituent.
I was honored to be invited to Senior Project Night at the Academic Arts High School by my constituent Gray. She presented on ways we can support youth with eating disorders. I have been impressed by her advocacy at the Capitol and she has a bright future ahead.
Had fun checking out the cars at the MSRA car show. I’m also one of the newest members of the State Automotive Enthusiast Leadership Council.
I have also been appointed to serve as a member of the Midwestern Legislative Conference on Criminal Justice and the Public Safety Committee.
It is an honor to serve you. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments for me, at any time!