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

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Legislative Update - Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 24, 2021
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Dear Neighbors, 

Last week, I was honored to welcome my fellow Capital Investment Committee members to our community, which had several stops during our final regional tour in the Twin Cities. We spent the fall traveling the state, viewing important infrastructure projects first-hand for possible inclusion in next year’s Capital Investment (otherwise known as Bonding) Bill. We had a full day’s worth of stops in Minneapolis, but for our district I was able to help highlight the need for investment in Northgate Solar Energy, the V3 Center, and improvements to the Hennepin Avenue Suspension Bridge. These are all incredibly important projects, and I look forward to advocating for them next session.

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In addition to our efforts to craft a bill investing in infrastructure, more funds will be coming into the state to help build back better thanks to the federal infrastructure bill that was signed into law by President Biden last week. The specifics of where the funds will go still need to be worked out, but generally we know that our state will receive the following:

  • $4.5 billion for highways
  • $302 million for bridges
  • $100 million for broadband internet
  • $68 million for electric vehicle charging stations
  • $818 million for public transportation
  • $680 million for clean water



Vaccines for 5 and Older, Boosters Available for All

We are yet again seeing an unsustainable increase in COVID-19 cases in our state, which is pushing many hospitals toward capacity. This pressure is greatly impacting emergency rooms, and even those who are seeking attention for a condition other than COVID are facing lengthy waits for care. Minnesota Public Radio highlighted the difficulties many hospitals are encountering in delivering timely emergency care and response.

Some good news - last week, the CDC approved booster shots for all adults aged 18 or older to extend the efficacy of the vaccine. If it’s been six months or longer since you’ve received your initial vaccine series (or over 2 months if you got Johnson & Johnson), please consider getting a booster. More information about boosters is available here.

These difficulties highlight the importance of as many people getting vaccinated as possible to both prevent the virus from spreading and to help prevent serious illness or hospitalization, particularly those with underlying conditions. If you’ve been hesitant or skeptical, reach out to get your questions answered so you can best protect you and your family. As Minnesotans, we care about one another, and it’s heartbreaking to see stories of people hospitalized experiencing regret for not getting the shot. Everyone age 5 or older is now eligible. A map of locations offering the vaccine is available here.



RentHelp MN

In Minnesota, we recently saw the end of the eviction moratorium off-ramp, but renters who are behind on their rent will remain protected from eviction if they have an pending rental assistance application at Renters that have a pending rental assistance application maintain protection from eviction for nonpayment while the application is pending. There is no deadline to apply, but renters should apply as soon as you fall behind on rent.

Thank you to everyone that helped with our Rent Help Pop Up Clinics that we held in our district this fall. If you weren’t able to make it to one and still need help with your rent help application, please feel free to reach out. You can read up on the resources available to our community on KSTP’s coverage of RentHelp MN here.

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Happy Thanksgiving

I hope you and yours have a safe, healthy, and warm Thanksgiving. Minnesota’s Cold Weather Rule is now in place, ensuring we all stay warm this winter. If you or someone you know is having trouble paying an electricity or gas bill, you can find helpful information on the Public Utility Commission’s website.

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We’re getting ready for our return to the regular legislative session in January. At least to start, it looks like much of our work will be done virtually again. If you have any questions or concerns on how we can improve our community and state, please feel free to reach out to me. If you haven’t already, you can “like” my official Facebook page, or reach out to me at (651) 296-8659 or I look forward to hearing from you



Esther Agbaje

State Representative