Governor Office updates April 2022:
Governor Tim Walz has proclaimed Sexual Assault Awareness Month during the month of April to call attention to the impact sexual assault has on every community in Minnesota. The intention is to lift up the voices of victims and survivors of sexual violence so they can be supported and heard. A growing number of leaders in Minnesota are committed to ending sexual violence, and it is important to dedicate time, efforts, and resources to prevent and respond to sexual violence in our communities. Visit the Office of Justice Programs website to find rights and resources for victims of sexual assault.
Additionally, the Governor proclaimed Tuesday, April 12, as Equal Pay Day in Minnesota. Ensuring equal pay is essential to advancing the values of fairness and equity in Minnesota. These gender disparities in wages compound with racial wage gaps, and the wage gap is even larger for Asian, Black, and Native American women, with Latinas having the largest wage gap of 53 cents for every dollar a man makes in Minnesota. On Equal Pay Day the State reaffirms its commitment to building a rewarding and competitive job market and economy anchored in gender and racial equality.
RFP: Strengthening Self-Advocacy in Minnesota
The Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD) is pleased to announce the availability of a total of $100,000 in federal funds to expand and strengthen self-advocacy in Minnesota. Proposal work plans should include details for a statewide coordinating project that develops new self-advocacy groups and supports local groups.
The grant will serve individuals with developmental disabilities through a network of cross-disability and culturally diverse coalitions. Applicants should describe how they will serve diverse populations, especially populations experiencing inequities and disparities, in a culturally competent manner.
The selected applicant may have grant funds awarded annually for up to five years. The complete RFP and Proposal Content expectations are available here. The application deadline is Friday, May 13, 2022, at 4:30 p.m.
Minnesota Housing Funding Availability
Minnesota Housing and its partners are pleased to announce the 2022 Consolidated Request for Proposals (RFP) is now open for applications. The annual Consolidated RFP process makes funding available to help build and preserve homes that are affordable in communities throughout Minnesota. With your partnership, Minnesota Housing can help people in Minnesota live and thrive in a safe, stable home they can afford in a community of their choice. This is the second year of the Qualified Allocation Plan. The emphasis remains on serving lower-income households and longer-term affordability. Minnesota Housing seeks to engage more ownership and development teams led by women or by Black, Indigenous or people of color.
The submission deadline for single family applicants is Thursday, July 14, 2022. Single family applicants can contact email@example.com while preparing an application to be connected with a staff person who can help.
The submission deadlines for a multifamily application are available online. Technical assistance for multifamily applicants is strongly encouraged. Please complete and submit the Technical Assistance Request Form. Additionally, view pre-recorded training tutorials.
Spring Burning Restrictions Begin in Minnesota
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is restricting open burning due to increased wildfire risk from warm temperatures and dry conditions. The restrictions apply in the following counties: Anoka, Benton, Chisago, Hennepin, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Ramsey, Sherburne, Stearns, Todd, Washington, and Wright.
Burning restrictions will be adjusted as conditions change. For more information and daily updates on current fire risk and open burning restrictions, visit the statewide fire danger and burning restrictions page of the DNR website.
MDH Report Highlights Need for Retaining and Recruiting Health Care Workforce
Results from a Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) survey confirm health care worker burnout and show workforce shortage trends are affecting a wide range of health care professionals. The report, Minnesota’s Health Care Workforce: Pandemic-Provoked Workforce Exits, Burnout, and Shortages, is the first report of its kind covering the effects of the pandemic on most of the licensed health care workforce in Minnesota.
The report identifies potential solutions including retaining the incumbent workforce through programs such as loan forgiveness for health care providers, career exploration initiatives for new and dislocated workers, and programs aimed at increasing the diversity of the workforce. Employers can also focus on overcoming the hiring challenge by making health care jobs safe, flexible, well-paid, and family-friendly. The report is available at Health Care Workforce Reports and Presentations.
New Report on Unpaid Maternity Leave in Minnesota
Nearly two-thirds of mothers in Minnesota take unpaid maternity leave after giving birth, according to a new Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) data brief analyzing maternal trends and behaviors from 2016-2020. The data shows 34% of mothers took only paid leave, compared to 42% who took only unpaid leave, 21% who took a combination of paid and unpaid leave, and 3% who took no leave. The report also highlights disparities in parental leave by race and income. The full report is available online.
2022 Minnesota Population Survey of Attitudes Towards People with Disabilities
A quantitative research study from the Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities shows Minnesota’s general population attitudes towards people with developmental disabilities. Eight-out-of-10 people in Minnesota agree that society should do everything in its power to help those who are most vulnerable. Most people in Minnesota (86%) believe the State should allocate more funds to support personal care assistants (PCAs) and related services for people with developmental disabilities. Additionally, almost 9-out-of-10 people in Minnesota (86%) believe people with developmental disabilities face discrimination.
There is room for improvement in advancing toward greater integration and inclusion, however attitudes have changed within the past 60 years which has made an impact on the lives of all people in Minnesota.
Updated COVID-19 Recommendations and Guidance
Certain people may choose to get a second booster shot to enhance their protection. The second booster shot should be given at least four months after the first booster and it should be either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. Additional information about a second booster shot is available online. Talk to your health care provider if you have questions about getting a second booster shot.
People who test positive for COVID-19 and are at higher risk of becoming very sick may benefit from available COVID-19 medications. These treatments can help prevent severe illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19. COVID-19 medication options are available online.