Every community – no matter their zip code, race, or economic status – across Minnesota deserves the opportunity to thrive. As Minnesotans recover from the devastating effects of a global pandemic, they need support at home, in the workplace, and help to stay connected. The Senate DFL recognizes that everyone, from birth through aging, should have access to affordable health care, safe and affordable housing, and economic security.
Minnesotan working families deserve the basic necessities needed to thrive. No one should be forced to choose between taking care of themselves or a loved one and a paycheck. DFLers are committed to supporting Minnesota families by fighting for Paid Family & Medical Leave for our workers. Paid Family and Medical Leave provides Minnesota workers up to 12 weeks of paid leave so they can care for a family member with a serious health condition or to bond with a newborn child. Earned Sick and Safe Time gives Minnesota workers the ability to earn paid time off to use when they are sick or to take care of a sick family member for short periods of time. Protections need to be put in place so that Minnesotans can take care of themselves or a loved one without worry about their financial security.
More than 580,000 Minnesota households pay more than 30% of their income on housing, which doesn’t leave enough money for necessities. A lack of housing affects all kinds of families but especially those with low income. Stable housing is critical to the development of children and the ability of workers to hold jobs. The lack of an adequate supply of housing is affecting the whole state’s competitive advantage. Senate Republicans’ refusal to adequately invest in affordable housing ignores the reality of this shortage and the effect the housing shortage has on all aspects of family life.
An estimated 14,500 homes and businesses will go unserved in the next two years after Senate Republicans reduced the funding to broadband grants. Access to robust broadband is now recognized as a critical factor in the economic and social sustainability of all Minnesota communities and was shown that more than ever through the COVID-19 pandemic. Without reliable internet, students may struggle to learn, working families find it hard to connect, including telehealth options, and farmers struggle to modernize their businesses to stay competitive. The budget includes $50 million in new investment for rural broadband development.
Minnesota strives to be a state where our elders and people with disabilities have the support, they need to live in a manner consistent with their wishes. For some, this means affordable access to services that help them remain in their communities, for others it may be high-quality options for those who need an advanced level of care. Expansion of critical investments are needed into older adult and disability services to make sure people in these populations, and those who care for them, are safe, supported, and have an active role in decisions impacting their lives.
Minnesota has long been a leader in enacting age-friendly policies and programs that focus on people with disabilities, but more work is needed to make sure our long-term care facilities and other community service options are safe and affordable, and the workforce that cares for them is appropriately compensated.
DFLers will lead boldly and implement the solutions Minnesotans are demanding to build a better future for all. The Senate DFL supports working families by working to have access to paid family & medical leave, safe & affordable housing, accessible broadband, and necessary long-term care.