SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Today, in simultaneous hearings, the House Children and Families Committee and Senate Health and Human Services Committee considered legislation proposed by the Walz-Flanagan Administration and authored by committee chairs Rep. Dave Pinto (DFL-Saint Paul) and Senator Melissa Wiklund (DFL-Bloomington) to establish a new state agency, the Department of Children, Youth, and Families.
“Every child deserves a great start in life; we all benefit in Minnesota when that happens,” said Rep. Pinto, author of the bill and chair of the House Children and Families Committee. “I am thrilled by the administration’s focus on this critical goal to fight child poverty and give families the resources they need to succeed. Programs that serve children and families are currently fragmented across multiple agencies; consolidating them with a strategic focus will help kids, families, and communities to thrive.”
If passed into law, the Department of Children, Youth, and Families, would take effect July 1, 2024. The bill gives authority to the commissioner of management and budget and the commissioner of children, youth, and families to take various actions to set up the new department and identify programs and responsibilities in the Departments of Education, Human Services, and Public Safety to transfer to the new department. The bill appropriates a total of $7,370,000 in fiscal year 2024 to the commissioner of management and budget to support the establishment of the new department.
“The early years of life are the most important for ensuring a lifetime of success,” said Sen. Wiklund, Chair of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. “We also know there are a spectrum of services for children and families throughout our state, spanning from early learning to child care to economic assistance that touch on different parts of a child’s life. By putting these areas under the same roof, we can deliver the best support possible for the needs of Minnesota families.”
HF 2320 is being re-referred to the House Education Finance Committee. SF 2401 was laid over for possible inclusion in the committee’s budget bill.