The ideas below reflect the JRLC’s focus on poverty where we can be most effective and provide our unique perspective where our faith communities can come together and have an impact. 


Maternal Mortality and Morbidity

Low-income women and women of color are significantly more likely to die during or within one year after childbirth for causes related to pregnancy or delivery. Minnesota has a committee that reviews all cases of maternal mortality to identify ways to improve care. The JRLC discovered that in many cases, the investigators at the Department of Health do not have access to Medicaid (and in some cases insurance) data that would allow them to review the prenatal medical history and care provided to these women.  It is impossible to address these disparities and make recommendations for improved care without this data. We will be leading an effort to make this important information available to the Department of Health. We also will be looking at action to include data on maternal morbidity (serious health event but mother survives, such as a seizure or excessive bleeding) that would also assist in providing quality care.


Funding Early Intervention Treatment Facilities for People with Schizophrenia

Early intervention is critical in slowing the progression of schizophrenia and helping people manage their illness. The average time it takes someone to get treatment is 74 weeks after their first psychotic episode. By then, the condition has often progressed to the point where the individual cannot maintain a stable living situation, attend school, or manage a job. We currently have four dedicated facilities in MN- the need is for eight total facilities. This issue is particularly pressing with the legalization of marijuana last session, which can be a trigger for people genetically predisposed to developing schizophrenia.


Payday Loan Rate Cap Applied to Online Lenders Lending in Minnesota

Last session, the legislature passed a 36% interest rate cap on payday loans. JRLC supports applying that cap to any payday lender who provides online loans to Minnesota residents, not just MN-based lenders. This measure levels the playing field by closing the loophole for out-of-state lenders. 


Other Priorities Include:

Funding for Additional In-Patient Mental Health and Addiction Treatment Beds

There is a shortage of mental health and addiction treatment beds in Minnesota. Our direct services partners identify this becoming a more pressing need with people who seek shelter at their facilities. JRLC supports dedicated funding and initiatives that address staffing and resource shortages in in-patient mental health treatment. 


Emergency Shelter and Transitional Housing

Eighty of Minnesota’s 87 counties lack necessary emergency shelter beds. The need continues to rise. JRLC supports additional funding to create additional emergency shelter. We also support dedicated funding for transitional housing to help families and individuals move toward housing stability.


Sheltering a Portion of Wages/Income from Garnishment in Debt Collections

Several states shelter some portion of wages from garnishment when debt goes into collections. This protection enables people to meet their basic needs (food, housing, transportation), and maintain stability as they pay their debt instead of falling deeper and deeper into debt without these necessities. This measure would apply to employee wages and income earned through contract work.


Dedicated, Long-term Housing for People with Severe Mental Illness

Many individuals who have severe mental illness are unhoused in Minnesota. Often, it is difficult for these individuals to find shelter or long-term housing due to their illness. Stable housing is an essential element in helping improve the prognosis and management of mental health conditions, and JRLC supports establishing dedicated, long-term housing for our neighbors with severe mental illness.


Addressing Gambling Expansion

As advocates for gambling expansion push to create easy access to sports betting, daily fantasy sports and other online gambling, the JRLC supports limits on access to online gambling and adequate supports for those dealing with gambling addiction and their families.