2017 State Legislative Kick-Off
We strongly believe that our state has a moral and economic imperative to ensure every child is prepared to reach his/her full potential. With smart policy, programs, and investments, we have the power to change the course and change the odds for children being left behind.
In 2017, we're asking lawmakers to protect our state’s health care gains for children and families and a tax structure that opens the door to the middle class and economic stability. We're urging them to help advance two-generation solutions to family economic security that give parents the resources they need to move their families forward today while setting children up for success tomorrow, including:
Affordable, Accessible Child Care
Working parents need reliable child care in order to work and provide for their families, and when families have sufficient financial resources and children have access to stable, nurturing, high-quality care, they flourish from kindergarten to career. Child care strengthens our current workforce and the workforce of tomorrow, and in turn secures the future prosperity of our state. We advocate for:
- fully funding the Basic Sliding Fee Child Care Assistance Program;
- increasing the state’s reimbursement rate to Child Care Assistance Program providers; and
- implementing family-friendly child care policies, including those required by the Child Care Development Block Grant Reauthorization.
Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program
Minnesota workers should be able to care for themselves and their families without jeopardizing their economic security. Yet too many workers lack access to paid leave, including disproportionate numbers of low wage, Black, Hispanic, part-time, and younger workers. A Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program is a fair, common-sense solution that would allow workers to take time to care for themselves or loved ones without losing pay. In addition to providing families with a measure of economic security, these programs come with benefits for children, families, businesses, and our economy. We support modernizing our workplace standards through a state-administered Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program.
Minnesota Family Investment Program Cash Grant Increase
Children in households accessing MFIP are at risk of or are already experiencing the harmful effects of living in deep poverty that can last a lifetime. Nearly 71 percent of people in households accessing MFIP are children and most MFIP households have a child under age 6. For a family of three MFIP provides a maximum cash grant of $532 and food assistance of $473 per month. The cash grant hasn’t been raised since 1986 and doesn’t allow families to meet the barest of budgets. We advocate for increasing the MFIP cash grant to help families move ahead and give children a chance to thrive.
Targeted Improvements to Tax Credits
Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit: The Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit helps families offset the high cost of child care. Unfortunately, it has not kept up with the rising cost of care. We support increasing and expanding the credit to help more low- and mid-income families afford the care that meets their needs.
Working Family Credit: The Working Family Credit is Minnesota’s version of the federal Earned Income Tax Credit. Research on the EITC shows long-lasting positive effects for children in families who receive it, including improved health and academic outcomes and increased earnings as adults. We support increasing the size of the credit that Minnesota households can receive and expanding eligibility parameters.