Protecting Minnesota's Children in Legislative Session

February 5, 2010 

This year, the state faces a $1.2 billion deficit, requiring the Legislature to take additional action to balance the budget.  CDF Minnesota will join other advocates primarily to protect the interests of Minnesota’s children from budget and program cuts.

2010 Minnesota Legislative Agenda

Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) Minnesota will work in coalition to pass the Ladder Out of Poverty Task Force bill to reduce the impact of poverty on the lives of children. 

CDF Minnesota recognizes the significant impact poverty has on the development of a child. Minnesota’s 140,000 children living in poverty have an increased likelihood of lower academic achievement and higher rates of health, behavioral and emotional problems. Conversely, the investments that we make in children today will increase positive outcomes in children tomorrow.  When families are economically secure, children are more likely to be healthy, succeed in school, commit fewer crimes, and become productive adults

CDF Minnesota supports opportunities for quality, affordable early care and education for all Minnesota children.

Minnesota’s Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) makes it possible for thousands of families to access childcare and early education for their children. Early childhood education is a key factor in future school success, which increases the success of our future workforce.  Because of limited program funding, thousands of families are on the CCAP waiting list. CDF Minnesota will join efforts to stop further funding cuts to this program and will advocate for expansion of and easier access to this important work support program, especially in the area of access of early care for the youngest and most vulnerable children.

CDF Minnesota will continue to advocate for health care coverage for ALL Minnesota children.

More than 88,000 children in Minnesota are uninsured. Many of these children are eligible for coverage under the state’s health care plans, MinnesotaCare and Medical Assistance. Providing health care coverage for children is a smart investment that pays for itself in decreased future health care expenditures, increased productivity, and better quality of health in adulthood. Minnesota must invest in rigorous outreach to enroll all eligible children and work to protect current eligibility levels.

CDF Minnesota is committed to reducing racial inequities in the juvenile justice system.

Minnesota is among eight states with the greatest disparities between White and Minority youth in the juvenile justice system (5:1 ratio or higher). CDF Minnesota will join efforts to support fairness and appropriate approaches in our juvenile justice system.

For more information contact Marcie Jefferys, Policy Development Director 651-855-1187.