Interested in submitting a legislative proposal?
Click here to submit a Legislative Proposal using our online form.
Please 
click here to download the Legislative Proposal form.

Public Policy Program
Our grassroots legislative program is a foundational pillar of MSSA.  From members who want to become actively involved, to those who simply want legislative updates, MSSA represents health and human services professionals at the Minnesota State Capitol and knows that a strong, active and influential legislative program is essential to ensuring high quality health and human services.

Public Policy Program FAQ
Why is public policy important?
How
 is MSSA's public policy program a benefit for members?
How does the legislative process work in Minnesota?
How does MSSA's public policy program work?
What has MSSA's public policy program worked on in the past?
What is MSSA's Public Policy Agenda and how is it created?
How do I write a legislative proposal?
What is Delegate Assembly?
What is a delegate? How do I become a delegate?
How can I get more information on MSSA's legislative program?

Why is public policy important?
As health and human service professionals, we see how public policy affects the lives of our clients on a daily basis. Laws and policies directly affect how social service professionals provide services for clients. Public policy has the potential to enhance the lives of clients and increase the effectiveness of services or to create barriers for clients and restrict services. Public policy is a tool for health and human service professionals to advocate for their clients and create social change.

There are many ways to get involved in MSSA's public policy program. You can write a legislative proposal, become a delegate, sign up for legislative update emails, or join MSSA's legislative committee.You can also learn about who represents you and sign up to receive email updates from your legislator by clicking here

Why is MSSA's public policy program a benefit for members?
MSSA works with members to navigate the legislative process to help you promote your issues. MSSA can provide you with access to a skilled lobbyist, help you build and leverage relationships with legislators, raise awareness around your issues, and consult with you at any point in the legislative process. MSSA's legislative program is also an opportunity for you to be actively engaged in shaping the legislative process in Minnesota through our Public Policy Agenda. You can advocate for your clients and stay informed on current legislative issues.

We know that our members are experts in the health and human service field and have valuable insight into what policies are working for clients and which ones aren't. This expertise is crucial for legislators who are making decisions that will affect the health and human service profession and our clients. 


How does the legislative process work in Minnesota?
The Minnesota State Legislature's website gives an overview of how a bill becomes a law in Minnesota and answers Frequently Asked Questions. While each legislative session is unique and unpredictable, the legislative process follows a general format.

First, constituents work with their legislators to write their ideas into legal form, called a bill. Legislators can agree to "author" a bill, meaning that they will introduce the bill in either the House or the Senate. Then, the bill will be sent to appropriate committees, made up of legislators, for discussion. After the bill has been approved by all the appropriate committees, it will go back to the full House or Senate for a vote. If the bill passes in the House and the Senate, the Governor can choose to sign the bill into law or veto it. Sometimes constituents will work with legislators over the course of multiple years to pass bills that did not become laws the first time they were introduced.

The Minnesota State Legislature works on a biennium--meaning that the legislature works in 2-year cycles. The first year of the cycle is always an odd-numbered year. These years are meant for creating and passing a state budget. The second year of a biennium, or even-numbered years, is for budget review and left-over items from the first year of the session.

How does MSSA's public policy program work?
Every year, MSSA invites all members to submit legislative proposals . Legislative proposals are statements that describe an issue and propose a solution. The best time to submit legislative proposals is in spring and summer. Each region discusses the proposals submitted by their respective members at annual fall meetings. Regions approve legislative proposals and bring them to MSSA's state-wide Delegate Assembly. At Delegate Assembly, members review, approve, and prioritize legislative proposals to create MSSA's Public Policy Agenda. The Public Policy Agenda guides MSSA's legislative work each year by informing our partnerships and actions.

What has MSSA's public policy program worked on in the past?
In the 2016 legislative session, MSSA worked with the Minnesota Children's Alliance to pass language that amended an existing law to include Child Advocacy Centers in the list of agencies who can be included in multidisciplinary child protection teams. In previous years, MSSA has also worked with members to pass legislation to secure funding for the TXT4Life program.

What is MSSA's Public Policy Agenda and how is it created?
MSSA's Public Policy Agenda is a list of priorities that are updated each year. MSSA's Public Policy Agenda is created from legislative proposals submitted by members which are then reviewed and ratified during the annual Delegate Assembly meeting. MSSA uses its Public Policy Agenda to set priorities and guide its legislative efforts.


How do I write a legislative proposal?
Click here to learn more about writing a legislative proposal and to download the form. When you write your proposal, do your best to be clear and concise. If you have questions about writing a proposal, contact Christina Zeise

What is Delegate Assembly?
Delegate Assembly is an annual state-wide meeting of member representatives. Every fall, delegates meet to discuss and take action on items relating to MSSA and MSSA's public policy program. 

What is a delegate? How do I become a delegate?
Delegates are representatives from each region who meet at MSSA's annual Delegate Assembly to review, prioritize, and approve MSSA's Public Policy Agenda. This year's Delegate Assembly will be November 17, 2017, at the Radisson Hotel in Roseville, MN. Contact Beth Ringer to become a delegate.

How can I get more information on MSSA's public policy program?
For more information, contact Christina Zeise

Let your voice be heard, participate in MSSA’s grassroots efforts and make an impact in the health and human service system in Minnesota