The Children and Issues Briefing is an annual event preceding the legislative session. Key leaders and experts from across the state inform and engage participants in discussion on policy to improve outcomes for children in Minnesota. This year’s event featured speakers from Governor Mark Dayton, the Minnesota Children’s Cabinet and a youth panel, among others.
One of our own JLM members was in attendance and shared these key takeaways :
- Early Childhood is a priority for legislatures and policy. Four years ago Early Childhood funding was nonexistent and the proposal for this year is at $100M. There is still a need to grow though.
- In order to make progress, legislators need to focus on outcomes rather than specific programs. This requires both political sides to find common ground.
- Children are looking for Equity. Everyone should have the opportunity to be successful, as all kids have potential. This was a common comment from experts and children on the panel.
- One of the most impactful quotes – “It is unacceptable that a whole life can be written in just the first chapter”. This amps up the importance of intervention early in life.
Videos of that day’s presentations were just release and can be viewed here. I encourage you to view a few segments and consider how you can get involved. One presenter commented that letters, emails and visits to the Capitol make a difference. What resources would you need to send a letter or email?