Deciphering What’s Relevant

We’ve now seen the budget targets from every branch of state government. The House GOP released their numbers suggesting a $156 million in increased spending for education. The Senate DFL released their numbers suggesting an increase of $350 million. The Governor propsed $895 million in new spending and $343 million of dedicated funds to early childhood education expansion. What do these numbers mean? What will we end up with? The simple answer is this, these numbers are all a starting point and are proposed budget targets, it is now the job of each body of government to pass legislation and stick to their targets. In the final days the total amount spent in each area will end up somewhere in the middle. This budget item will be one of many things that are a part of a final universal negotiation, between the House and Senate leadership and the Governor.

For those of us who advocate, it is now our job to try to make that number as large as we can in order to ensure our projects are in the final agreement. How do we do that? In the coming weeks when opportunities arise to engage with members of the Minnesota House or Senate, each of us can ask for the total we would like to see. Sometimes it is a simple note asking for increased funding for early childhood funding in the form of grants to low-income families. Other times, it is an interaction in a grocery store, or a phone call to the legislator. As advocates now is the time for us to advocate for what we would like to see in the final education budget. Would you be willing to connect with you legislator to ask for increased funding to provide grants for low-income families for early childhood funding?

Find out who represents you and how to contact them here – http://www.leg.state.mn.us/leg/districtfinder.aspx

Post contributed by Kelsey Johnson.

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