Minnesota State Legislature

Recent Articles

Racial Equity Justice Day at the Capitol a multicultural rally

By Isaac Peterson

Contributing Writer

 

By most accounts, 2013 saw some promising action by the Minnesota State Legislature, such as passing the Dream Act and the Homeowners Bill of Rights. But with Minnesota at the bottom nationwide in terms of racial equality, there is clearly much work to be done. To that end, last week the Organizing Apprentice Project (OAP) held the Racial Equity Justice Day at the Hill, an event that included a multiracial and multicultural mix of people and organizations — and that was attended by a few state legislators as well. The purpose of the rally, said Vina Kay, OAP’s director of research and policy, was to “attend to unfinished business in 2014.” The rally began in the Capitol Rotunda and included speakers and spoken word performances. Speaking were artist Brother Ali; Vina Kay; rap/hip hop performers Lioness and Guante; Peggy Flanagan of the Minnesota Children’s Defense Fund; Jovita Morales of Mesa Latina-Waite House; Nique Mabrey from

OutFront MN; Fernando Rodriguez, a sophomore at Owatonna High School and leader of Central Campesino Youth; Archie Davis of Trillium Works from Duluth; Nicole Buckanaga of Leech Lake; and Emilia Gonzalez Avalos of Navigate. Continue Reading →

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Somali parents struggle with trauma of childhood autism

New legislation promises more help for low-income families
 
By Michelle Lawrence

Contributing Writer

 

“It’s an awesome feeling to change policy so that equality is from the get-go and from the gate for all kids. This new law/policy will help children on fee for service Medical Assistance and Managed Care who are mostly low-income and disproportionately minorities. This is victory at its best!” says Idil Abdul, autism advocate (see “Mother of autistic child fights for equal care,” MSR, May 2). On May 16, the Minnesota State Legislature passed an autism therapy (ABA and Developmental Therapy) coverage law, which was subsequently signed into law by Governor Dayton. Unfortunately, many families struggling to cope with the illness are not confident the new law will address their needs. Continue Reading →

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Does Minnesota need a ‘13th’ grade?

 

 

By Donald Allen

Contributing Writer

 

The Minnesota House of Representatives have enacted a bill attempting to establish a “13th” grade pilot project based in north Minneapolis. The bill, H.F. 1149 is part of an education and employability solution for young adults who are unemployed, underemployed and not enrolled in postsecondary education. Co-authored by Senators Jeff Hayden (D-SD 62), Bobby Joe Champion (D-SD 59), Representatives Ray Dehn (D-HD 59B) and Will Morgan (D-SD 56B), the bill is said to potentially impact over 3,000 young adults ages 18-26, placing them on college and career pathways by 2015. It states the commissioner of education shall develop a one-year 13th-grade pilot project, with one site being operated by the Minneapolis Urban League. The “13th” grade proposal is problematic because a one-year pilot program is expected to eradicate generations of educational failures in poor minority communities and the parties involved seem not to understand Minnesota’s employability issues and current status of K-12 education [if any] in the Minneapolis and St. Continue Reading →

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State’s integration programs face uncertain future

 

 
Task force reports to legislature Feb. 15
 

By Alleen Brown

Contributing Writer

 

In a few short weeks, the Integration Revenue Task Force will submit recommendations to the Minnesota State Legislature on how the state should redistribute $110 million of integration revenue. As the recommendation deadline nears, a broad range of programs face uncertain futures. The programs that could see funding cuts include magnet school transportation, college preparatory programs, teacher cultural competence trainings, a network for teachers of color, curriculum development, all-day kindergarten and multi-district collaborations. Many of the stakeholders have testified before the task force. Continue Reading →

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