Back into the swing of things, the legislature reconvened this week after a recess. There's very little consensus at the Capitol these days, but everyone seems to agree that there is a long way to go before a budget solution is reached. And time is beginning to run short.
The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits writes very helpful, accessible and in-depth coverage of the budget process at the legislature. You can read the blog at http://minnesotabudgetbites.org/. Also keep an eye out for the MN Budget Bites new daily series, the 20 Ways in 20 Days Campaign, on the impact of budget cuts to all corners of MN life.
Aside from budget discussions, there were three child welfare bills that had hearings.
At the time of writing this post, the bill status hadn't been updated; the links below will have the most current information about the hearings as it becomes available.
HF322 Custody and parenting time provisions changed. Hearing on 4/27 in the House Judiciary Policy and Finance.
HF 523 Children and Community Services Act service plan requirements changed. Hearing in the House Health and Human Services Reform on 4/27/2011
HF 556, Known as the Safe Harbor Act: Juvenile prostitutes in need of protection or services provisions amended, sexually exploited youth defined, prostitution crime penalty assessments increased, and distribution of the assessment amended; prostitution laws provisions clarified and recodified, and definitions modified; money appropriated to the commissioner of public safety to develop a statewide victim services model. Hearing in the House Judiciary Policy and Finance on 4/28/2011
SF 1173: Adoption assistance and child welfare provisions modifications. Tabled at the hearing on 4/27, but next meeting scheduled for 5/2 at 1pm. You can listen to the audio here.
Thanks to advocate Chuck Letourneau for telling us about this upcoming webinar:
Understanding the Fostering Connections Act: An Introduction for State Policy Makers. You can register and read more here. The webinar will be held Friday, May 13,1-2:00 PM EST. ***Note the EST schedule; here in MN that means 12:00-1:00.
And check out the entry about upcoming hearings for the next child welfare issues on the agenda at the Capitol. There are a number of ways to be involved: contact your legislators ahead of the hearings, attend, stream audio/video or just check the outcome of the hearing online.