Legislative Priorities from WoMN Act

Leondra Mitchell, WoMN Act. Photo by Sarah Whiting

One of our community partners in 2021 is WoMN Act. Although, technically, what was formerly known as Women’s Consortium has been a collaborative partner of Minnesota Women’s Press since the beginning of our publication in 1985, when they were already a few years into policy advocacy work on behalf of women statewide.

In honor of our joint commitment to promote the progressive, women-led interests of equity and justice for all in this state, we are showcasing some of the legislation WoMN Act is supporting this year.

HF 3892 (2019-2020) — Postpartum Health Coverage

This bill is sponsored by Representative Morrison and ensures that new mothers with incomes up to 278 percent of the federal poverty guidelines (FPG) are still eligible for Medical Assistance (MA) 60 days postpartum, and those with incomes up to 133 percent of FPG may remain eligible for MA following this period. Its Senate companion was SF 3853 (2019-2020). Because neither bill received a hearing, they must both be re-introduced this session.

Call or email Rep. Morrison, 651-296-4315 to encourage her to reintroduce this bill this session, and tell her why you believe that lower income mothers deserve good health care.

HF 841 (2019-2020) — Women of Color Opportunity Act

This bill is sponsored by Representative Moran and includes: a small business development and loan program, competitive grant programs to increase financial literacy for girls of color, development of STEM careers, pilot grant program to increase the academic success for girls of color, development of high-wage, high-demand nontraditional job grants. Its Senate companion bill was SF1123 (2019-2020). Both bills have died with the end of the biennium. This session, in order for both bills to be considered, they must first be reintroduced.

  1. Support BIPOC owned businesses and educate yourself on how our current educational system significantly disadvantages young women of color.
  2. Watch the Pushout documentary co-hosted by WoMN ACT, Girls on the Run Twin Cities, and Teach for America Twin Cities.
  3. Call or email Rep. Rena Moran, 651-296-5158, and encourage her to reintroduce this bill before the legislative deadline in February. Add a personal note to let her know why you believe the initiatives for women of color that she outlined are necessary.

SF 2370 (2019-2020) — Financial Stimulus to Tribes, the Somali community, and East African Populations

This bill is sponsored by Senator Champion and provides a one-time financial stimulus to tribes, the Somali community, and East African populations across Minnesota to provide business assistance with: workforce development, outreach, technical assistance, infrastructure and operational support, financing, and other business development activities. This bill has died with the end of the biennium and needs to be reintroduced to be given a hearing this session.

  1. Support small businesses run by immigrant and tribal communities across MN.
  2. Donate and/or learn more about how you can give your time and resources to Somali Success, a non-profit working for East African communities in MN
  3. Call or email Senator Champion, 651-296-9246. Remind him of the importance of this legislation, and why you want it to be reintroduced this legislative session.

HF 64 (2019-2020) — Contraceptives

This bill sponsored by Representative Morrison, establishes prescription contraceptive supply requirements, requires health plan coverage of contraceptive methods, sterilization, patient education, and counseling. Its companion in the Senate was SF35 (2019-2020). As with the above, both bills have died with the end of the biennium. In order for both bills to be considered this session, they must first be reintroduced.

  1. Educate yourself on Minnesota’s current standards for reproductive health.
  2. Dall your representative to learn more about this bill and call or email Rep. Morrison, 651-296-4315 to ask her to reintroduce it.
  3. Involve yourself with organizations like NARAL and Planned Parenthood who are advocating for better reproductive access for womxn.

If there’s a piece of legislation you think WoMN Act should be aware of, including those supporting rural Minnesota womxn, email  emma@womnact.org