On Monday, March 1, 2021, Senate Republicans brought a bill extending Minnesota’s “reinsurance” plan to the Senate floor. The reinsurance program subsidizes non-profit healthcare insurance providers, including $106 million in state funds and $77 million in federal pass-through funding with the goal of lowering insurance premiums on the individual marketplace. In addition, the reinsurance program also costs the state of Minnesota an estimated $100 million in federal funding for MinnesotaCare
As the most diverse caucus in the history of the Minnesota Senate, Senate DFLers offer a vision for a better Minnesota with priorities that will improve people’s lives and protect their fundamental rights. Members of the Senate DFL held a press conference to announce their priorities for the 2021 legislative session and released the following statement:
Senator Kent, Senator Port, Senator Wiger, Senator Torres Ray, Senator Carlson and Senator Frentz will convene a press conference to discuss Senate DFL Priorities for the 2021 legislative session. The press conference will occur virtually on Wednesday, February 17, starting at 10:00 a.m. They will be discussing the Senate… Read More »Senate DFL Announces 2021 Legislative Priorities
A student-driven and student-led proposal to require Climate Justice Education Curriculum from elementary through high school has been introduced by Senator Lindsey Port (DFL-Burnsville) and Representative Sydney Jordan (DFL-Minneapolis). The legislation (SF666/HF550) would require Climate Justice Education curriculum to be provided in all core subjects for Minnesota’s students.
“This is a bill for and led by students who understand the existential threat and challenge of climate change, and the many ways it is interwoven into the wide issues of justice and inequity that threaten Minnesotans throughout this state, ” said Senator Port, “This bill will provide our students and future leaders a curriculum that focuses not just on climate change’s effects, but on the need for finding solutions that get at the core issues of justice and fairness in addressing this crisis.”
This proposal was first drafted by the Youth Environmental Activists (YEA!) Network, a student-led program of Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy, that has advocated for a well-rounded curriculum to teach not only the effects and outcomes of climate change but also the connection between climate change and socioeconomic justice issues.
“Schools must prepare students to understand how climate change will define their future, and young people are already leading on solutions like this bill,” said Sarah Goodspeed, Senior Youth and Policy Manager at Climate Generation. “Climate change is interdisciplinary; it impacts every part of our lives differently, as Minnesotans and as humans. This means in the classroom as well, intersecting beyond the sciences. Young people are leading on climate justice to protect their changing future that older generations have put in danger.”
Climate change will drastically change all our lives in the near future. It is already affecting many Minnesotans in a variety of ways, from increased flooding destroying crops in Southern MN to heat deserts in the cities. Given the complexity of the systemic causes of climate change, from its man-made fingerprint to its wide and disproportionately experienced effects, students should have the opportunity to learn about this issue that will change all our futures.
“I believe this bill will facilitate the widespread understanding of systemic oppression and climate change in Minnesota,” said Indigo Davitt-Liu, one of the youth authors in the YEA! Network. “I hope developing this widespread understanding of these complex issues will lead to the development of climate solutions in the future that take people into account and lead to a just future. I also hope students will be able to better place their own experiences with climate change into a broad framework, allowing them to feel empowered to create change at high levels.”
Education around climate change should also promote critical thinking in students and utilize a climate justice lens. Climate justice is a framework that puts people first and views the effects of climate change as interconnected with forms of oppression connecting climate change to social and economic justice issues.
“Climate justice education is necessary because it provides accessible resources to students on climate education while introducing relevant climate related societal issues and solutions,” said Annie Chen of YEA! Network. “I hope that by integrating Climate Justice Education into schools, casual classroom conversations surrounding societal issues will be normalized.”
“I am excited for the bill because it puts importance on climate justice rather than just education on climate change. It’s important to be educated on climate justice at an early age because the younger generation will be leaders in achieving climate justice,” said Maya Hidalgo of YEA! Network. “I hope that climate justice education will become a necessary topic to incorporate into all schools throughout the world. I hope that all students will be equipped with education on the importance of climate justice, employment opportunities, and solutions!”
The bill has two major requirements:
Climate Justice Education to be provided in all core subjects from elementary through high school
The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) and Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) along with teachers, students, and field experts, to gather resources and put out example activities to teach Climate Justice. It also includes seven themes of how climate justice education can be defined.
“Climate change requires us to consider a time beyond the present and practice individual responsibility around a societal issue important to our future. This student-led proposal will create a space in our education system that will prepare the future generations to tackle environmental problems and their intersectional relationship with justice issues.” said Rep. Jordan. “Including climate change in the curriculum will breed new solutions and encourage excellence in both social and natural sciences.”
Legislators will announce a student-driven and student-led proposal to require Climate Justice Education Curriculum in Minnesota’s schools on Tuesday, February 16 at 10:00 a.m. The legislation, HF550, SF666 is being authored by Representative Sydney Jordan (DFL-Minneapolis) and Senator Lindsey Port (DFL-Burnsville), alongside high school… Read More »Students and Legislators to Announce Climate Justice Education Bill for Minnesota
This week, Senator Lindsey Port (DFL-Burnsville) introduced SF963, the Patients’ Right to Know Act. This bill establishes the right for health care professionals to provide medically-accurate, evidence-based information to their patients without interference from lawmakers.