The entire autumn season is sacred to me. I love the bustling atmosphere of the new school year, the roar of a college football game, posing for “candid” pictures at an apple orchard, and yes, I also enjoy a pumpkin spice latte here and there.
But today’s autumn air seems especially light. That might be because this school year, Minnesota’s children will enjoy free school meals for the first time. It might be because we have a comprehensive paid family and medical leave program in this state. Another reason might be that, come April, Minnesotans will feel the benefits of the new child tax credit passed by the legislature. All these items, among the many others we pushed through this session, will help children and families in this state.
But there’s always more work to be done. We passed comprehensive firearm safety measures last year – expanded background checks and Extreme Risk Protection Orders – but safe storage requirements and required reporting of lost or stolen firearms were left on the table. We passed the PRO Act and legal protections for physicians offering reproductive healthcare, but there are still laws on the books in Minnesota restricting access to care. It is now illegal to subject kids to the barbaric practice of conversion therapy, and the legislature passed a law ensuring access to gender-affirming care, but there is still more to be done for the health, safety, and wellbeing of our kids.
Yes – we should revel in our victories from this past session. Your cider should taste a little sweeter and your flannel should feel a little warmer. But pediatricians across the state must bring the same dedication, organization, and passion to the Capitol in 2024, and much of that work begins now. We need to build on our successes to ensure that Minnesota is the best place in the world to be a kid and raise a family.
Please participate in MNAAP advocacy events and stay up-to-date on opportunities to engage with lawmakers so that when the legislature reconvenes on February 12, we are ready to effectively advocate for the next generation of Minnesotans!
MNAAP sends updates and alerts to members throughout the legislative session to help them stay informed about important matters of child health.
Make sure you’ve received these emails in the past by doing a quick inbox search for messages from “MNAAP Policy Co-Chairs Sue Berry, MD, FAAP, and Hannah Lichtsinn, MD, FAAP” and by adding ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ to your contact list.
This will ensure you always receive the news and information that pertains to advocacy opportunities and updates.