The State’s Fair Share
In 2014 the Minnesota legislature started requiring counties to use uniform state guidelines when responding to maltreatment reports. This has led to many more children being screened into child protection.
To support this transition, the legislature provided $23.5 million in new funding. However that was in the context of federal cuts and rising program costs.
As this chart illustrates, from 2003 to 2017 counties increased their child welfare budgets by $105 million, and their share of program costs from 41% to 54%. Meanwhile, the state added $26 million and increased their share slightly from 17% to 19%, which is still the second lowest nationally.
Other agencies affected by the caseload increases, including courts, county Attorneys, and Public Defenders, got no new funding.
The legislature should start contributing its fair share.
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