Advocates for children who have been victims of sex trafficking say the Legislature handed them an "incomplete and underfunded victory."
They had asked for $13.5 million to pay for housing and services for underage victims. The Legislature allocated $2.8 million, about a fifth of what they were seeking.
On any given night, 50 shelter beds are needed, and this will pay for about seven, said Lee Roper-Batker of the Women's Foundation of Minnesota.
"Our hearts are very heavy because we know there are 43 children who we can't get off the streets, who we can't get them health and services they need," Roper-Batker said. "What we feel from our law enforcement partners is they are beyond frustrated and feel incredible anguish because these girls just disappear into the night again."
The Women's Foundation will try to raise private funding to cover the shortfall and will be back at the Legislature in two years.