Proposed Cut: The legislature has proposed a 65 percent cut to the Minnesota Department of Human Rights.
Consequence: Unfortunately, despite all the progress that has been made, discrimination is still a serious problem in Minnesota. People of color experience higher levels of unemployment, with African Americans and American Indians facing triple the unemployment rate compared to whites, and women continue to earn less than men. The Minnesota Department of Human Rights offers a unique place for victims to turn. The Department investigates charges of illegal discrimination, ensures that businesses seeking state contracts comply with equal opportunity requirements, and strives to eliminate all forms of discrimination by educating Minnesotans about their rights and responsibilities under the state Human Rights Act.
“Slashing funding for the Minnesota Department of Human Rights would mean increased discrimination and decreased employment opportunities for communities of color at a time when Minnesota should be moving forward to address existing disparities,” says Booker Hodges of the NAACP.
Drastic cuts to the Minnesota Department of Human Rights would make it impossible to investigate charges in a timely manner, sustain current vigilance in contract compliance, and conduct education and outreach to reduce discrimination. Without these important services, Minnesota risks falling further behind as other states work to overcome discrimination and embrace growing diversity.
The Solution: Let’s protect Minnesota’s communities, residents and quality of life. We cannot afford to take a cuts-only approach to meeting our state’s needs, jeopardizing services that protect human rights. Minnesotans know we need a balanced approach, one that includes raising revenues based on ability to pay, in order to maintain critical state services that support Minnesotans in tough times and invest in our future.
- For more information about the impact of cuts to the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, contact Booker Hodges with the Minneapolis NAACP at 612-276-1571 ext. 275.
- For more information about the 20 Ways in 20 Days Campaign or Invest in Minnesota, contact Leah Gardner at 651-757-3063.
- Download the PDF version of this story to spread the word about the impact of proposed budget cuts.
- Leah Gardner