Legislative Update: 4/14/14


This is a summary only. To receive full legislative updates on a biweekly basis, you must be a member of MNAAP. The emails provide additional details about legislative issues that are not posted on our website and are for members only.

A note from Dr. Anne Edwards, policy chair: Leading into the Easter/Passover break proved to be a busy time at the Capitol.  Many thanks to Eric Dick, MNAAP lobbyist, for his long hours dedicated to advocating for children!

  • Newborn screening: Votes by the full House and Senate on the MNAAP’s chief legislative priority – a restoration of the state’s newborn screening program – are likely once legislators return to St. Paul following the Easter and Passover break.  Both bills have passed the necessary committees in each body.  Opponents of the program and the MNAAP effort to restore Minnesota’s once nation-leading program are very active at the Capitol, and legislators have noted that they have been receiving many calls and emails to oppose our bill.
    IMPORTANT: If you haven’t already done so, please set aside 90 seconds to contact your legislators and urge them to support HF 2526 (Norton).  Click here for background info on sample email/script. Your calls and contacts matter and can move a legislator towards restoring newborn screening.
  • During a sun-soaked ceremony on the front steps of the Capitol, Governor Dayton signed into law the Safe and Supportive Schools Act, a comprehensive anti-bullying bill that has been considered by the Legislature for more than a year.  Minnesota’s anti-bullying statute has been widely dubbed among the nations weakest. Both the House and Senate had passed the bill in the days prior to the signing ceremony in lengthy, often raw debates.  Under the bill, school districts are required to establish comprehensive anti-bullying policies that contain key protections for students.  The bill also includes requirements for reporting of bullying incidences, as well as resources for students, teachers, and education administrators.  The bill has long been a key priority of the MNAAP.  MNAAP member Tom Scott, MD, served on the Governor’s Task Force on Bullying, the blue-ribbon group that crafted the basis of the legislation.
  • An effort to combat childhood obesity by investing in the transportation infrastructure around schools remains in play for funding in the bonding bill.  The program, known as Safe Routes to School, provides grant-based funding for local school districts and groups to build and maintain sidewalks, bike paths, and trails near schools.  Funds have been provided under the bonding proposals from both the House and Governor.  The Senate is expected to announce its bonding proposal soon, and differences in the bills will be negotiated following passage by each body.

Annual Sponsors

Children's Minnesota
Gillette Children's
Hennepin Healthcare
University of Minnesota Health
Essentia Health
Mayo Clinic
Shriners Healthcare for Children-Twin Cities