Legislative Session 2021
The announcement of Minnesota's $1.6 billion projected surplus is good news, but MAPE members who deliver state services know the needs of Minnesotans won’t be fixed with a one time budget surplus. From the mental health crisis to the needs that existed before the pandemic, Minnesota requires a budget that meets the needs of our people and asks the wealthiest to pay their fair share.
2021 MAPE Legislative Priorities
The Political Council voted to adopt the following priorities for the 2021 legislative session.
Contact your Legislators
The state works because we do! Remind your legislators about the important work you do to serve fellow Minnesotans and ask that they prioritize state services this budget session.
"As epidemiologists, unemployment insurance specialists, and caregivers to Minnesota’s most vulnerable, MAPE members fought on the frontlines of the pandemic. We know there is much work ahead of us to go from COVID-19 relief to recovery. MAPE stands ready to help advance equitable solutions to support workers, families, students, and small businesses hit hardest by the pandemic while providing the quality public services Minnesotans deserve.
MAPE members stepped up to help Minnesotans fight this deadly virus. We support Governor Walz’s commitment to a fair and balanced budget and his request that all Minnesotans step up and pay their fair share, including the wealthiest Minnesotans and corporations. "
~ MAPE Statewide President Megan Dayton
MAPE members testifying
Private Prison Ban (HF 1074/ SF 2006)
The House Public Safety Committee took up a bill proposal to prevent the operation and contracting of private correctional services in the state. Testifying on behalf of MAPE was Keith Halseth, a case manager from the Lino Lakes Correctional Facility, who highlighted the poor track record of private prisons in Minnesota, including their lack of programming and higher rates of recidivism. The bill overwhelmingly passed the committee. Keith's testimony begins at 1:23:28 in the recording.
Paid Family and Medical Leave (HF 1200/ SF 1206)
A bill that would provide 12 weeks of paid time off for parental and medical leave began moving through its numerous committee stops. The proposal operates similar to the Unemployment Insurance program, wherein both employer and employees pay into the fund. It also prohibits an employer from forcing an employee to spend down their sick and vacation leave before accessing the benefits. MAPE member Angela Byrne from Commerce shared her experience of being both a new parent and having to care for a sick loved one. You can watch her testimony beginning at 20:55
Pre-sentence Investigative Bill (HF 167/SF 371)
A bill that would help reduce the number of presentence investigative reports done by probation agents received its first hearing and unanimously passed the committee. The idea came from MAPE’s Field Services summit in late 2019 in response to growing caseloads and constant rejection of requests for more agents. Corrections Agent Valerie Dorff testified on behalf of MAPE in support of the legislation. Dorff explained, "Adding discretionary language to the PSI statute won’t fix the problem of truly overwhelming caseloads; only more agents will do that. But after years of denied requests for additional agents in field services, our hope is that this bill will allow agents more time to actually work with offenders to effect the change we all wish to see." The bill is still awaiting a hearing in the Senate. Listen to Valerie's testimony at 18:56 in the recording or read it here.
Two MAPE members provide testimony on Senate File 3
On February 16, Senate Finance Committee held a hearing on Senate File 3, a bill that would cut most agency budgets by 5 percent. Though MAPE members were not able to testify in person, two MAPE members submitted written testimony that told the story of the work that they have done in the last year to serve Minnesotans. They posed serious questions to the Senators pushing the bill.
Jackie Mahon testifies to Advisory Committee on Capitol Area Security
On Feb. 3, member Jackie Mahon was featured in the MPR news story for her testimony to the Advisory Committee on Capitol Area Security. Mahon and her team are working to see the state through this pandemic, but their lab is on the capitol complex which has resulted in safety risks.
You can hear Jackie's testimony at the 1:18:30 mark in the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-T6owpjaUGQ
Sara Evans spoke at the We Make Minnesota press conference
On Jan. 15, MAPE Member Sara Evans spoke alongside other leaders about the importance of raising revenue this legislative session. Minnesotans across the state, representing faith, labor, farms, education, healthcare, and more, gathered virtually for a press conference to remind legislators this legislative session that raising revenue is the path to providing care, support and relief to Minnesotan families - both now in a pandemic and to prepare for a thriving future for residents of the state.