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Progress on our Policy Agenda

Thank you to everyone who joined us this session in advocating for a more just Minnesota. Your phone calls, emails, attendance at our Young Women’s Day at the Capitol, and conversations with lawmakers added to the successes on our policy agenda and momentum to the coalitions and advocates we support. The session ended Sunday with some chaos and without action on the infrastructure bill for public construction projects that is a tenet of even-numbered years like this one.

Research in our Status of Women & Girls+ in Minnesota was in the spotlight throughout the session, including as fuel for new legislation requiring salary transparency as a tool to advance pay equity. Last week, at the 10th anniversary celebration of the Women’s Economic Security Act (WESA), our President & CEO, Gloria Perez, moderated a wonderful conversation on women’s economic futures with Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan, House Speaker Melissa Hortman, and Senate Majority Leader Erin Murphy. The conversation, which closed the celebration, reminded attendees that making an impact takes persistence. It often takes decades of building coalitions, making compromises, and bringing sectors together. Legislative change often moves incrementally, but the results can be transformative within our lifetimes. We have to be willing to get in the fight, support strong ideas and leaders through good times and bad, and stick with the fight for the long haul to see results. If you weren’t able to attend, a full recording is available, as well as a fact sheet and data about the progress of WESA.

We were pleased to make progress on key legislation and allocations for policies on our agenda this year, in partnership with coalitions that include grantee-partners and longtime leaders in this work. These policies and more support a culture of collective care, led by our state’s communities and advocates working on the frontlines for change.

  • Creating a statewide health education standard that includes mental health, sexual and reproductive health, bodily autonomy, consent, and other health-related topics—Passed
  • Inclusive ERA for Minnesota—Passed the House, not the Senate
  • Task Force on Preventing Violence Against Latinas—Passed
  • Expanding coverage for abortions, and pre- and post-natal healthcare–Passed
  • Coverage for gender-affirming care, led by Rep. Leigh Finke—Passed
  • Supporting better outcomes for Black and Native births and pregnancies–Passed and the following funds were allocated:
    • $368,000 for a grant to the Birth Justice Collaborative to plan for and conduct community engagement in the development of an American Indian-focused birth center; and
    • $263,000 grant to Birth Justice Collaborative for planning and community engagement to develop an African American-focused homeplace model.

These policies, when implemented, will help create better futures for women, girls and gender-expansive people in Minnesota. There is more work to do in the sessions to come. Next year, the state budget will be decided, and we will continue to advocate for funding for policies that support women, girls and gender-expansive people including some of the work from this year’s agenda that didn’t make it across the finish line.

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