Racial disparities and the FY18 budget proposal

Minnesotans believe that everyone should have equal access to opportunities. Unfortunately, the data shows that Minnesota has some of the highest racial disparities in the country demonstrating unequal barriers to opportunity and hurting our entire community.

When looking at the budget proposal for FY18 released in March, there are some good questions to ask around how these budget proposals work to close those gaps or further add to them? MCN will continue to ask these questions and report out as the FY18 budget process starts moving at the end of May.

But, in the initial proposals from the administration, we got some hints of things to watch. There are many, but a few to note include:

Department of Health and Human Services: Eliminates the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which helps low-income families keep their heat on in the winter and reduces the “risk of health and safety problems that arise from unsafe heating and cooling practices.” The program was used by 152 tribal organizations in 2015.

Department of Health & Human Services: Cuts the Community Services Block Grant, which funds services aimed at reducing poverty. Nearly a quarter of Black families in this country are living in poverty; the same goes for 21 percent of Latinxs.

Department of Agriculture: Cuts $4.7 billion (21 percent) from budget, including from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), which provides state grants that support food, health care referrals and nutrition education for low-income families. Forty-one percent of the 9+ million annual WIC recipients are people of color.

Information gathered by Colorlines. See more information here.