Public Policy Update: Wilder’s 2021 Legislative Agenda

1/27/21 by Dominic McQuerry

Today we are pleased to share Wilder’s 2021 Legislative Agenda and to relaunch regular communications from our Public Policy Department.

The staff of the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation work every day to provide exceptional services to clients, but also recognize that every day we must engage in public policymaking and pursue systems change in order to best serve our community. The Minnesota Legislature is one of the many policy arenas where Wilder staff pursue change.

Informed by our values and principles, our 2021 legislative agenda reflects Wilder’s commitment to Lead, Support and Endorse efforts which promote the social welfare of persons resident or located in the greater Saint Paul metropolitan area and beyond.

Wilder's Lead Agenda Items: Mental & Physical Health Care, Housing & Homelessness Prevention

1. Stable and Accessible Public Health Care Programs

Wilder will work to preserve and improve access to mental and physical health care in Minnesota.

  • Protect & Enhance Medicaid – Wilder will work through the This is Medicaid (TIM) Coalition to solidify and improve access to Medical Assistance - Minnesota’s Medicaid Program.

2. Affordable Housing and Homelessness Prevention

Wilder will work to increase access to safe and affordable housing and to prevent and end homelessness for all Minnesotans.

  • Homes for All agenda – Wilder will work as a core member of the Homes for All coalition to improve housing stability and support people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota.

In addition to these two lead items, Wilder will engage as a supporting and endorsing partner for many additional efforts. Click here to see Wilder’s Legislative Agenda for the 2021 session.

Wilder is Relaunching Public Policy Updates

Moving forward you can expect regular bite sized posts from Wilder’s Public Policy department. These posts will feature updates on the public policy work of Wilder staff, analysis about policy issues important to the broader Wilder community, opportunities for engagement and tips on how to translate your expertise into powerful advocacy.

If you have any feedback related to content in a post or ideas for content, please contact Wilder’s Director of Public Policy and Community Relations Dominic McQuerry.

Governor’s Budget Recommendation Released Tuesday, January 26, 2021

During the 2021 session, the Minnesota Legislature and Governor Walz will need to come to terms on a budget to fund the state government for the next two years. Mandated by statute, the Governor must provide their proposed budget on the fourth Tuesday in January in each odd-numbered year.

On Tuesday January 26, 2021, Governor Walz presented a $52 billion two-year budget. Here are just a few specific items of interest for us here at Wilder:

  • $6 million to increase access to School Linked Mental Health this summer
  • $5 million to support Full Service Community Schools
  • One-time $750 supplemental payment to Minnesota Family Investment program families
  • $21 million for programs serving people experiencing homelessness and $5.5 million for rental assistance.
  • Making expanded access to telehealth services permanent, though not to audio-only services. We view access to audio-only telehealth services as a needed tool to best serve our clients who may not have access or are uncomfortable with the necessary technology to conduct a video and audio session.

We look forward to working with the Governor and the legislature to make needed investments and policy changes a reality.

 

Policy Pro Corner

In each update we will include a tip, strategy or resource that will help you to improve your policy and advocacy skills.

Tip #1: Know who represents you

There are new elected officials in the state legislature, on county boards and in city governments. Knowing who to reach out to, is the first step in engaging. Look up who represents you at the following links: