Opportunity for All in Minnesota
All Minnesotans deserve to live happy and fulfilling lives, free of discrimination. Our state has a unique opportunity to create a stronger Minnesota where we all can thrive by confronting disability, race, sex, and other disparities through partnerships with local communities.
To create meaningful change, we must reduce discrimination and bias in education, employment, and housing. The Minnesota Department of Human Rights (MDHR) does this work every day through civic engagement, public education, and addressing specific cases of discrimination as they arise. This proposal reinforces a One Minnesota where indigenous communities, people of color, people with disabilities, recent immigrants, and others all have access to opportunities.
Governor Walz’s Budget creates a path to One Minnesota with an investment to significantly increase the Minnesota Department of Human Rights' ability to provide services to all Minnesotans across the state.
MDHR Transformational Budget - A Path to One Minnesota
Minnesota can help to reduce disability, race, sex, and other disparities proactively through greatly expanding education statewide on issues of diversity and inclusion. Governor Walz’s proposed budget would allow MDHR to open new regional offices in Bemidji, Duluth, and Worthington, while adding capacity to the Department’s existing St. Cloud office.
MDHR serves all 87 counties in Minnesota and has investigated charges in over 80 of the 87 counties in the state since 2011. Regional offices will ensure that the Department has consistent statewide reach, which is particularly critical as greater Minnesota becomes increasingly diverse. By establishing new regional offices across the state, MDHR can build lasting relationships that serve as a connection to regional communities.
Civic Engagement and Supporting Local Community
The proposal will provide additional resources for meaningful civil engagement and outreach, helping to create a One Minnesota that supports inclusive communities for indigenous communities, people of color, people with disabilities, recent immigrants, and others. Governor Walz’s proposal funds a Civic Engagement Coordinator position as well as adds an additional position and creates a micro-grant program to support local entities in their civic engagement work.
Increasing Housing and Employment Opportunities for Community Members with Criminal Records
Governor Walz’s and Lieutenant Governor Flanagan’s budget proposed to increase education and outreach with landlords, employers, service providers, and the community. Through additional funding, MDHR will help organizations better understand how to create opportunities for people with criminal backgrounds that provide a second chance at housing and employment. The proposal funds an employee to work with employers, landlords, and the community to better understand issues of criminal records, risk, and recidivism to help people with criminal histories secure employment and housing so that they can participate fully in society and create prosperity for themselves, their families, and their communities.
MDHR’s Transformational Budget is funded at $1,313,000 in FY2020 and $1,649,000 in FY2021.
Maintain Operations at Current Levels
This proposal addresses rising salary, rent, and IT costs that would help us maintain services for Minnesotans. Each year, the cost of doing business rises including employer-paid health care contributions, FICA, Medicare, salary and compensation-related costs, rent and leases, fuel and utilities, and IT services. This growth puts pressure on the agency’s operating budgets that remain flat from year to year. The cost increase proposed is $182,000 in FY2020, and $379,000 in FY2021.
Funds would also be used to maintain MDHR’s primary workflow and data software system. This proposal would keep MDHR’s OnBase system up-to-date and operating at the current version. This helps ensure cybersecurity. The estimated costs to maintain OnBase is $75,000 annually in both FY2020 and FY2021.