By Rep. Tony Jurgens, 2/8/2019
Hello from St. Paul,
In order to help students who are struggling as well as schools who are seeking the resources to help them, I am sponsoring legislation that would increase funding for state mental health grants for schools.
Minnesota is way behind much of the country when it comes to employing school psychologists and mental health professionals. Mental health issues can be found throughout our society and the schools are no exception to that. Students need to have the help that they deserve.
The legislation would increase mental health grant funds by $10 million a year, allowing more schools to bring in professionals to work with students who are in need of help. Current funding is $11 million a year.
Expanding mental health services in our schools is a critical component of school safety and improving outcomes for Minnesota students, and will also assist parents who don’t know where to turn for help for their child.
Many of these kids who need help either don’t have health insurance or have a poor health plan, so their parents don’t seek assistance for financial reasons. We all want children to succeed in life. If we are able to reach kids in the schools who are dealing with untreated mental health issues, we greatly improve their chances at success in the classroom and beyond.
The bill has been referred to the Minnesota House Education Finance Division for debate.
This week, constituent Ruth Ann Michnay visited for CPA Day with the Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants at the Capitol advocating for Federal Conformity (no surprise there) including the estate tax, Section 179 as well as Federal Partnership Audit Conformity.
Physical Therapy student Matt Goecke from Cottage Grove visited with the Minnesota Physical Therapy Association to discuss physical therapy alternatives to opioids, early access to physical therapy and disability parking permits.
It’s nice to know neighboring counties, both in my district, work together. Washington County Community Development Agency Executive Director Barbara Dacy and Dakota County Community Development Agency Executive Director Tony Schertler visited to talk about housing needs including preventing homelessness, controlling costs to provide affordable rental homes and preparing first time home buyers.
I also attended State of the City addresses in both Hastings and Cottage Grove this week.
Finally, Paul Bunyan’s Axe visited the Capitol.
This is the trophy the Gopher football team brought home by beating Wisconsin 37-15 for the first time in 15 years. It was nice to hold a piece of football rivalry history.
Have a good weekend,
Representative Tony Jurgens
351 State Office Building
St. Paul, MN 55155