Minnesotans value hard work, ingenuity and looking out for others. And we turn these values into investments and policies that promote child well-being and economic vitality. Our results show we know what works to help children and families thrive, and Minnesota is consistently ranked as one of the best places to raise a family.
However, as our 2018 Minnesota Kids Count Data Book: Building Community in a Time of Changing Needs, reveals, our state is facing opportunities and challenges brought on by shifting demographics and needs across the state. Older adults are quickly outpacing the number of children for the first time, and populations of color are rapidly growing across the state. To maintain our momentum and to secure our collective future prosperity, we must make sure our investments and policies reflect the changes in our population and the way we live and work in our communities.
In 2019, CDF-MN asks policymakers to support the following legislative initiatives that will ensure families of all backgrounds, in every corner of the state, have the resources and opportunities required for their children to become the workers, leaders and parents we need them to be.
Check back here for updates on issues affecting children and families as the legislative session progresses.
The 2018 state legislative session did not yield child-focused investments or policy, but some consequences were avoided. CDF-MN’s child care priorities garnered broad bipartisan support throughout the legislative session and were included in the supplemental budget bill that both the House and Senate passed. The budget bill, however, also included problematic provisions, including one that could have had the unintended consequence of removing eligible individuals from public programs, and Governor Dayton vetoed the bill. As many of the child care provisions were also federal requirements upon which a portion of funding for the Child Care Assistance Program is contingent, failure to implement them could result in penalties.
Similarly, the omnibus tax bill would have reduced taxes for some low- and mid-income families and would have simplified filing at the state level in response to newly passed federal changes that affect how Minnesotans file taxes, but these benefits would have been accompanied by large corporate tax cuts, permanently reducing the state’s revenues and in turn its ability to invest in other important areas of the budget. Governor Dayton vetoed the tax bill.
Thanks to the robust effort of the This is Medicaid coalition, access to public health care programs will not be tied to stringent work requirements. CDF-MN was proud to support the work of this coalition, knowing that while targeted to adults, the requirement would have harmed children. The proposal could have impeded parents’ access to health care, and child health and well-being is linked to that of their parents’. In addition, research shows that when parents lose health insurance, children are more likely to as well.
With the 2018 session behind us, CDF-MN is looking forward to the elections this fall. All constitutional offices and state House seats will be up for election. CDF-MN will be engaging with candidates and constituents around child-focused research and policy, and preparing for a successful 2019 session.