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News & Press: Policy & Advocacy

Session Update

Thursday, April 14, 2016   (0 Comments)
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Dear @@first_name@@,

Session Update

Things continue to move quickly at the legislature. Both the House and Senate have released the majority of their budget bills for the different areas of government.

Below are some highlights of each of the Education and Health and Human Services bills. These investments are increases to what’s already in the budget.

These bills need to be heard in their respective committees, Finance Committees, on the floor of the House and Senate and then Conference Committee, so a lot of changes can still happen. 

We’ll keep you updated as the bills move through the process!

Senate Education Finance

The bill includes:

  • Governor’s Pre-K proposal--$24 million
    • This is what the Governor introduced earlier this year. This is not his universal pre-k proposal from last session. This is a grant program for school districts who meet certain requirements. There is a teacher licensure requirement and mixed delivery language. We think this language can be stronger and will continue to work with legislators and the Governor to ensure all settings (family child care, center based care, school districts and Head Start) can continue providing early learning services with this investment.
  • Afterschool community learning grants- one-time appropriation of $500,000
    • This is the Ignite Afterschool bill that we support
  • Reading Corps--$3 million
  • Full Service Community Schools--$2.2 million
  • Help Me Grow--one-time appropriation of $1 million
  • Direction to the Children’s Cabinet to support homeless children

Senate Health and Human Services Finance

As of this morning, this bill hasn’t been released.

House Education Finance

The bill includes a number of policy changes, very little money.

  • Parent Aware—one-time appropriation of $1.8 million. Also, directs the Commissioner of DHS to use $2 million of total base funding to increase access and training of providers in low income/underserved areas.
  • Adds language allowing scholarships for birth to 5 year-olds for parents under the age of 21, prioritizing foster care and homeless children and allowing for higher scholarship amounts in certain cases.
  • Adds language changing when a program needs to be 3 or 4 star Parent Aware rated from July 2016 to July 2020.
  • Add family child care and center to Pathway 2 eligibility requirements and make Pathway 2 scholarships portable.
  • Add language allowing a school board to adopt a resolution to create an early learning program that combines its ECFE and School Readiness activities.
  • Allows charter schools to create school readiness programs
  • Reading Corps--$1.5 million
  • Parent Child Home Program--$2 million
  • Preschool pilot program in St. Cloud--$430,000

House Health and Human Services

The bill includes a number of policy changes,

  • Includes language from Rep. Franson’s bill (HF3433) that was a result of the hearings in Greater Minnesota this year of the Select Committee on Affordable Child Care.

MnAEYC-MnSACA Day on the Hill

MnAEYC-MnSACA board members, staff and policy committee members were excited to meet with State Senators and State Representatives this week during Week of the Young Child and bring our stories about the importance of investing in high quality early learning and afterschool.

Did you advocate this week? We’d love to hear about it. Please email Sara Benzkofer at, or tag us on Facebook or Twitter and use hashtag #woyc16 and #mnleg.

Join Us at the Policy Hour

Join us on Tuesday, May 3 to hear from Kelly Monson, Children's Cabinet Program Manager, about Help Me Grow. The goal of Help Me Grow is to promote healthy development for every child in Minnesota, prenatal through third grade. Help Me Grow (HMG) is a unique, comprehensive, and integrated statewide system designed to address the need for early identification of developmental and/or behavioral concerns, and then to link children and their families to local services.

Bring your lunch. Invite your friends. No RSVP necessary.

Mark your calendars! Policy Hour is held the first Tuesday of each month, October 2015-June 2016, from Noon-1:00 p.m. at Think Small (2021 East Hennepin Avenue, Suite 250, Minneapolis, MN 55413).   

Policy Hour is a monthly opportunity for early childhood and school-age care professionals to connect with each other and learn about current policy issues in an informal setting.

These events are provided to the field at no cost by the Minnesota’s Future Coalition.

Policy Updates

The policy updates are archived on our website, so if you miss one or if you become a member mid-stream, you can catch up. You can see the first one, with explanation of our policy agenda, and all future ones here.


If you have any questions about anything in this update, please always feel free to contact Sara Benzkofer at


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