Senator Kunesh responds to Governor’s COVID-19 Recovery Budget proposal

Governor Tim Walz has unveiled his Minnesota’s COVID-19 Recovery Budget proposal focusing on working families, small businesses and students. 

In response, Senator Mary Kunesh (DFL-New Brighton), who sits on the Education Committee and a former teacher, released the following statement:

“COVID-19 has put a strain on many resources in our state. This budget proposal will set us on the right path to recovery,” said Sen. Kunesh. “The pandemic has magnified the disparities and inequities that were already in our educational system and the governor’s bold vision for sweeping changes in education will expand academic opportunities, mental health services, and out of school activities. Our students need this help to recover from the effects of this pandemic. We need to collectively ensure that all students are given an equal opportunity to succeed in Minnesota with a world-class education that is free from bias.”

The budget proposal also includes many provisions that will help further the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Task Force’s directives such as a $500,000 per year to the Department of Public Safety to establish and maintain an office dedicated to preventing and ending the targeting of Indigenous women, children, and two-spirit people; $2.5 million in addition to the current $2 million allocated to the Office of Justice Program’s Sex Trafficking Grants; $10 million to be appropriated for grants to provide additional crime victim/survivor resources and resources to stop cycles of violence through OJP; and $200,000 to the DOC each year to house pregnant, incarcerated women in alternative, less restrictive settings during pregnancy, childbirth and post-partum.

Senator Kunesh, founder of the MMIW Task Force adds “this funding will help further our cause in bringing peace to many Native women and will help stop the cycles of violence or crime in our state against the women in Native communities.”

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Mary K. Kunesh represents Senate District 41, which covers the communities of St. Anthony Village, New Brighton, Hilltop, Columbia Heights, Fridley, and a portion of Spring Lake Park.

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