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Minnesota progress

Our MN Young Champions campaign led by students is working to change Minnesota’s status as one of the few states that doesn’t allow high school students to receive unemployment benefits.

We have big news this week. Since April, we’ve made huge progress in sharing youth stories and building bipartisan support at the Minnesota Capitol over the regular legislative session that ended in May, the June special session and the July special session. Our youth leaders led several meetings with key legislators, committee staff members, the Minnesota employment commissioner, testified twice to the Minnesota House of Representatives Jobs Committee, and were covered nationally in the New York Times and Teen Vogue. By the July session, both the DFL-led House and the Republican-led Senate each had bills to fix the problem but couldn’t agree on how to fund the state share of benefits.

U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minnesota) and U.S. Representative Angie Craig (D-Minnesota) have just introduced language for the federal stimulus bill Congress and the White House are now negotiating to try to ensure that high school students are eligible regardless of state law

We’ve recently recruited, interviewed and selected 13 exceptionally skilled and diverse young Minnesota leaders (ages 16-24) for our MN Young Champions team. It was very hard to choose just a few from the 80 youth who applied. 

Our MN Young Champions co-lead our campaign for equitable benefits, organize and host virtual meetings for youth to identify and discuss issues and solutions they care about, and support youth engagement with the 2020 elections in nonpartisan ways.