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Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare

Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare

Week in Review: February 11, 2011

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The Senate passed HF 130, the budget proposal cutting $900 million in state spending. This was a fast turnaround following the House passage of the bill late on 2/9. The bill was sent to the Governor, and he vetoed the bill within a couple hours of receiving it. You can read coverage here, here and here. And the Governor's veto letter here. Audio and video from the floor votes is on the Legislature's website, link to the right. If you would like more analysis, Twin Cities Public Television's program Almanac does a lot of political coverage. Link to their website here.

Governor Dayton will release his budget on Tuesday, February 15th. The Minnesota Budget Project will hold a briefing of of the Governor's budget on Friday the 18th. It's free and open to the public, details here.

A number of other bills introduced this session could touch the lives of children and families served by the child welfare system. Below are a few bills that might impact your work and the people you serve. The descriptions are pulled right from the legislative website. If any spark your interest, click on the link to access the bill information.

Regarding parental rights and paternity hearings:
HF440 Opening certain hearings concerning parents and children.

Another parenting related bill:
HF322 Establishing a presumption of joint physical custody; creating the Children's Equal and Shared Parenting Act; requiring certain parenting plans.

Policy concerning services for vulnerable adults, sometimes provided by Child Protection offices:
HF447 Modifying provisions governing investigations, reviews, and hearings; making the crime of criminal abuse of a vulnerable adult a registrable offense under the predatory offender registration law; changing terminology; increasing the criminal penalty for assaulting a vulnerable adult.
SF254 modifying license requirements for adult foster care and family adult day services; directing commissioner to apply for federal waiver for medical assistance reimbursement.

Early Childhood issues:
HF319 authorizing a unique identification number to be assigned to all Minnesota children at the time of birth; allowing parents to opt out.
HF365 Proposing an amendment to the Minnesota Constitution, article XIII, section 1; providing for the education of young children through age five.

School Counseling Services:
SF84 & HF172 Establishing a minimum school counselor to student ratio.

Juvenile Justice (controversial, getting some media coverage):
HF306 Emily's Law established, age lowered for adult certification and extended jurisdiction juvenile prosecution for juveniles, and violent juvenile offense.

Healthy Communities:
SF110 & HF77 Establishing grant programs to promote healthy communities and the development of circles of support initiatives.

Not quite sure how to preface this one, so I recommend reading it yourself.
The general sentiment behind the bill is to maintain the autonomy of the family and the state in matters of raising and educating children:
SF63 & HF042 Resolution urging the members of the United States Senate to oppose ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

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