Historic investments to address racial and economic disparities signed into law
St. Paul, Minn.—Senate Equity Subcommittee co-chairs Sen. Bobby Joe Champion (DFL-Minneapolis) and Deputy Majority Leader Sen. Jeff Hayden (DFL-Minneapolis) applaud Governor Mark Dayton’s signing of the omnibus supplemental budget bill today. The governor’s signature made official the historic and unparalleled investments secured by Hayden and Champion which will begin to address Minnesota’s alarming racial and economic disparities.
“Throughout this session, there was a prevailing concern that despite all the incredible energy and support from the community driving the conversation for these investments, that Republicans would try to kill our proposals to address disparities,” Hayden said. “While Republicans don’t share the same urgency around disparities, I am very pleased that in negotiations the Governor and DFL Senate were able to not just secure one-time funding but also secure on-going investments for programs to bring opportunity to Minnesotans of color who are struggling.”
“Beginning the end of these economic disparities was a major priority this session for members of the Subcommittee on Equity, many earnest advocates, and all those who supported our efforts. While there’s still work to do, we’re off to a good start through what we’ve achieved this session — passing legislation that will create jobs, strengthen businesses, help families find homes, provide educational programs, and more. The work completed this session is a first step in creating a state where everyone has the opportunity to achieve and succeed. And thanks to the hard work of many, we’re on our way there,” Champion said.
The Equity Subcommittee’s recommendations for funding were included as a funding article in the larger omnibus supplemental budget bill, totally $35 million in one-time funding and $17.5 million each year in on-going funding. This successful investment has been called the largest, one-time infusion of funding for programs aimed at addressing Minnesota’s significant disparities.
“I want to thank the passionate and impactful organizers and community that rose up to support these initiatives and fought for their final passage,” Hayden said. “Having the vocal and present support of my constituents and those who are living this struggle at the capitol allowed us to be successful in the negotiations. To those of you who may think that your government doesn’t hear you or doesn’t see you, know that this funding is because people showed up and were heard by their elected leaders.”
In total 26 organizations and programs are funded through the Equity Article. (See list below) In addition the Agriculture Article and the Education Article of the bill also fund programs dedicated to eliminating drivers of Minnesota’s persistent disparities. The Grow Your Own program received $1.5 million, the program supports successful localized paraprofessional pathways to licensure. The Good Food Access program also received a $250,000 infusion. The program pushes against barriers to nutritious, affordable food by providing grants, low-cost loans, and technical support for new or enhanced grocery stores, mobile markets, and farmers’ markets for projects around the state.
Organizations and Programs Funded in Equity Article:
- Neighborhood Development Center – $1.5 million
- Competitive grants to promote education, economic self-sufficiency, and job development – $2 million
- Ujamaa Place – $600,000
- Enterprise Minnesota – $1.75 million
- YWCA Career Development Programs (St. Paul) – $1 million
- YWCA Minneapolis – $750,000
- EMERGE Community Development Programs – $4.25 million
- Twin Cities Rise! – $1.2 million
- $407,000 is for the Metro Transit Program
- Business Development and Assistance Services – MEDA – $2.5million
- Minneapolis Foundation (North at Work Grant) – $1 million
- Career Connections Pathways Hennepin County – $2.5 million
- Women and High Wage, High-Demand, Nontraditional Jobs – $1.5 million
- Grants to address Economic Disparities in SE Asian Communities – $2 million
- Pathways to Prosperity Program – $1 million
- Construction Careers Foundation – $2 million
- Economic Disparities in Latino Community (CLUES) – $1.5 million
- Somali Youth and Community Resiliency – $2 million
- Education Disparities – American Indian Communities – $800,000
- White Earth Nation Integrated Business Development – $500,000
- Emerging Entrepreneurs – $500,000
- Youth at Work Grant Program – $1 million
- Services to the Blind – $1 million
- Capacity Building Grants Program – $320,000
- Expansion of Family Stabilization Plan Program – $500,000
- Landlord Guarantee Fund Pilot – $250,000
The Equity Subcommittee is co-chaired by Deputy Majority Leader Jeff Hayden and Sen. Bobby Joe Champion. It was appointed by Senate Democrats to review and develop recommendations for addressing Minnesota’s significant and growing racial and economic disparities. The subcommittee is a part of the Senate Finance Committee, which considers and develops budgets and supplemental budgets for the State of Minnesota. The subcommittee and co-chairs enjoyed the support and coordination with the office of Governor Mark Dayton, who was also a vocal advocate for addressing disparities. The Minnesota State House of Representatives does not have a similar committee in its organizational structure.