The Minnesota Council on Latino Affairs was created by the Minnesota State Legislature in 1978 pursuant to Minnesota Statute 3.9223, subdivision 3. It was then re-structured under Minnesota Statute 15.0145. For almost 40 years, MCLA has served to advise the governor and state Legislature on issues regarding Latino communities, to promote the voice of the community on policy issues such as:
MCLA also serves as a conduit to state government for Latino/a organizations in the state.
The Minnesota Council on Latino Affairs was created to:
"Subd. 6.Duties of council.
(a) A council must work for the implementation of economic, social, legal, and political equality for its constituency. The council shall work with the legislature and governor to carry out this work by performing the duties in this section.
(b) A council shall advise the governor and the legislature on issues confronting the constituency of the council. This may include, but is not limited to, presenting the results of surveys, studies, and community forums to the appropriate executive departments and legislative committees.
(c) A council shall advise the governor and the legislature of administrative and legislative changes needed to improve the economic and social condition of the constituency of the council. This may include but is not limited to working with legislators to develop legislation to address these issues and to work for passage of the legislation. This may also include making recommendations regarding the state's affirmative action program and the state's targeted group small business program, or working with state agencies and organizations to develop business opportunities and promote economic development for the constituency of the council.
(d) A council shall advise the governor and the legislature of the implications and effect of proposed administrative and legislative changes on the constituency of the council. This may include but is not limited to tracking legislation, testifying as appropriate, and meeting with executive departments and legislators.
(e) A council shall serve as a liaison between state government and organizations that serve the constituency of the council. This may include but is not limited to working with these organizations to carry out the duties in paragraphs (a) to (d), and working with these organizations to develop informational programs or publications to involve and empower the constituency in seeking improvement in their economic and social conditions.
(f) A council shall perform or contract for the performance of studies designed to suggest solutions to the problems of the constituency of the council in the areas of education, employment, human rights, health, housing, social welfare, and other related areas."