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Legislative Update: Stabilizing Childcare and Feeding Minnesotans

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

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Here is this week’s update from the Capitol and the community:

Monday night, I voted with all my DFL colleagues to pass a pair of bills to deliver investments to stabilize childcare and early learning in the state. HF 13, would increase the maximum rates for all childcare assistance (CCAP)-eligible children from the 30th or 40th percentile to the 75th percentile of the most recent survey of provider rates. A review of state rates shows that Minnesota is currently near the bottom. The rate change would apply to Minnesota children of all ages.  

The second bill, HF 150, delivers $12.25 million in emergency investment in childcare stabilization grants. It also includes $40 million in early learning scholarships, with expanding eligibility to start at birth, rather than the current age of three. This will provide early learning and care to an estimated 4,000 additional children. 

The 2021 Legislature established the childcare provider stabilization grant program for monthly base grants to help providers stay open and continue to provide care and learning. 70% of the funds go directly to compensate childcare workers. But the size of the payments is currently scheduled to drop in half starting in March, threatening the fragile stability of providers. HF 150 would reverse this cut.

Video of the floor debate can be viewed on the House Public Information’s YouTube Channel

House DFL Plan for Child Care and Early Learning

Paid Family & Medical Leave

I hear gut-wrenching stories of Minnesotans who cannot take time off from their jobs to care for themselves or family members in times of sickness or crisis. HF2 is working its way through the legislative process and in past years has been approved by the Minnesota House. Please join us for a listening session on Saturday to learn about PFML and ask questions.


Feeding Minnesotans

Last Thursday evening, I voted ‘yes’ on HF5, which guarantees breakfast and lunch to Minnesota’s students, reducing costs for families. Food insecurity can lead to increased school absences, lower reading, and math test scores, and increased erratic behavior. It is our responsibility to do everything we can to make sure our students are fed and ready to learn during the day.   

As a part of the federal government’s response to the pandemic, the USDA provided free meals to all students, regardless of income, through the end of the 2021-2022 school year. While federal support did not continue into the current school year, several states, including California, Nevada, Vermont, and Massachusetts have continued funding free meals for all their students out of their state budgets.

School Food

Thursday, the Minnesota House also passed HF213 which provides funds to food shelves to purchase, transport, and coordinate the distribution of nutritious food to needy individuals and families.

In the Community

KAAL TV interviewed me for a story on legislative solutions affordable housing and homelessness. You can watch here.

My Committee Action

Last week, I presented HF1043, in the Human Services Policy Committee. The measure would authorize formation of an accessibility task force to ensure people with disabilities can connect to their services. The hearing was featured in the non-partisan Session Daily publication, and you can watch a video clip of the presentation.

Disability Rights

Yesterday, I participated in the 2023 Disability Advocacy Rally at the State Capitol. In my speech, I talked about the importance of listening to our advocates, families and service providers who support Minnesotans living with a disability or neurodivergent to be fully included in our community. Thank you, Brittanie Wilson for being a great MC and being a leader in this critical work.  


Huddle with Hicks

Thank you to everyone who attended our chat last Saturday. I appreciate you giving up time on a weekend to share your thoughts and ask questions about the legislative session.


Stay Connected with the Legislature

It is easy to stay connected to news from the State Capitol. The Minnesota House of Representatives Public Information Services offers nonpartisan recaps of high-profile bills, committee hearings, and floor sessions with their Session Daily publication. Subscribe to receive these here. To track bills of interest through the legislative process, I encourage you to utilize the MyBills feature on the Minnesota House of Representatives’ website.  

Please continue to reach out with any input, ideas, or feedback about the issues important to you. I value hearing from you, so call or email any time. You can find my information on my House website. You can also like my Facebook page, and follow me on Twitter.

It is an honor to represent you at the State Capitol.


Kim Hicks

State Representative


Representative Kim Hicks

413 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55155

Phone: 651-296-4378
Email: (replies to this newsletter are not monitored)
Legislative Assistant: Chelsea Ray, 651-296-3806