MSSA's 2022 Legislative Agenda

2022 Legislative Priorities
MSSA will prioritize the following issues in the 2022 legislative session

Invest in Affordable and Accessible Housing
MSSA seeks to ensure affordable and accessible housing for all across the housing continuum, including those who are homeless, renters, and homebuyers.

Establish a Task Force to Create a Unified Virtual Platform
MSSA seeks the establishment of a statewide task force to determine a unified virtual platform that allows health and human service providers to better connect and serve their clients.

End Racial Disparities in Child Foster Care and Adoption
MSSA is working with other organizations on strategies to end persistent racial disparities affecting Indigenous and Black children.

Ban Conversion Therapy Statewide
MSSA is working with other organizations to ban harmful conversion therapy practices on LGBTQ+ youth in Minnesota


Legislative Priorities

A closer look at each of our 2022 legislative priorities

Invest in Affordable and Accessible Housing
The rising cost of housing has greatly impacted all Minnesotans, Many are significantly burdened by the rising cost of rent—often paying more than 30% to 50% of their income on rent. Rising rents can lead to increased levels of housing instability and homelessness, as renters are unable to make monthly payments and meet other essential living expenses. As a result, rates of homelessness have been rising across Minnesota for the last three years. Additionally, renters are unable to become homeowners, build wealth, or stabilize their living situation in safe and accessible neighborhoods. These issues disproportionately affect Black, Indigenous and People of Color and those from LGBTQ+ communities due to discriminatory housing practices, higher rates of eviction, and lack of generational wealth. MSSA supports legislation that will increase the level of affordable and accessible housing to ensure all Minnesotans are able to thrive in safe and affordable homes.

MSSA also supports legislation that increases housing access and affordability for all, including older Minnesotans. Older adults face unique challenges and needs, such homes that are age-friendly and supports to improve habitability.

Goal: Pass legislation which ensures affordable and accessible housing for all, including those who are homeless, renters, and homebuyers.

Establish a Task Force to Create a Unified Virtual Platform
Widespread use of virtual platforms, which has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, has demonstrated the effectiveness, promise, and potential to provide timely, safe, equitable, and less-expensive care. Long-term investment in a unified, coordinated, and effective system is needed to increase access to care for those who need it most. 

Even prior to the pandemic, many Minnesotans relied on virtual systems to receive services. Currently, there are several different virtual platforms in Minnesota used to deliver care. Providers using these platforms include human service agencies, Tribal Nations, counties, law enforcement, courts, schools, mental health providers, and more.  

A unified, person-centered virtual platform is needed to ensure providers can effectively communicate and share information across sectors. This system must have enough capacity to withstand a rapidly increasing number of users. This unified system will reduce system fragmentation and prevent information from being siloed by service industry. Less fragmentation means patients and clients will receive better care. A statewide task force of experts will be able to ensure the development of a public-private virtual information system that works better for all Minnesotans.

Goal: Establish a statewide task force to determine a unified, person-centered virtual platform.

Eliminate Racial Disparities in Child Foster Care and Adoption
Racial disparities in child foster care and adoption are widespread and persistent across Minnesota. Black and Indigenous children are overrepresented in Minnesota’s foster care system. Compared to their white counterparts, American Indian/Native American children are 17x more likely to experience out of home placement, whereas children of two or more races are 5x more likely, and African American or Black children are 3x more likely.

Stringent foster care requirements often prevent relatives and kin from being eligible for placements for children, which disproportionately affects communities of color. Minnesota's foster care provider requirements are much stricter requirements for adoptive families, so children who are ultimately adopted by family members often spend years living in foster care with strangers. Additionally, Minnesota law states no preference for placement with kin versus out of home placement or adoption, which means family and cultural ties can often be severed. This practice is often detrimental to a child's well-being.

Goal: Pass legislation which seeks to end racial disparities in child foster care and adoption.

Ban Conversion Therapy Practices on LGBTQ+ Youth Statewide
"Conversion therapy,” often referred to as “reparative therapy,” “ex-gay therapy,” or “sexual orientation change efforts,” refers to any collection of methods or tactics aimed at attempting to change someone's sexual orientation or gender identity. Conversion therapy is based on the false premise that being a part of the LGBTQ+ community is a mental illness, thus requiring a cure or treatment. 

Many LGBTQ+ Minnesotans are still subjected to conversion therapy, which places them at risk of depression, substance abuse, and suicide.

Goal: Ban conversion therapy in Minnesota state law.