This week, our panel of guests each chose a topic of conversation. They will discuss why Minnesota can't get its sex offender policy right; how adverse childhood experiences will affect health care policy; and what Minnesota's educational and economic gaps mean for the future of the state.
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LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS WEEK'S TOPICS
"There doesn't seem to be any appetite, on the House side anyway, for progressing very far on this sex offender issue," said Rep. Tony Cornish, R-Good Thunder, chairman of the Public Safety and Crime Prevention Policy and Finance Committee. "And that's unfortunate."
The proposed reworking of the state's sex offender policies follows a critical 2011 examination of the state's civil commitment program by the Office of the Legislative Auditor. That report pointed out that Minnesota has the highest per capita rate of civil commitment in the country and has never successfully rehabilitated and released an indefinitely detained sex offender in the two decades since the Minnesota Sex Offender Program was launched. [One offender was granted a provisional release earlier this year.] (Politics in Minnesota)
Minnesota ranks 38th out of 44 states for its black-white achievement in fourth-grade math and 37th out of 45 states in reading, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
Since 2006, the achievement gap has increased by 10 percentage points in high school math between white and Hispanic students and between white and black students on the annual state test. Even if the state's demographics were to remain static over the next 30 years, these statistics would be devastating for non-white students.(Twin Cities Daily Planet)
Fifty-five percent of the 13,520 Minnesotans surveyed reported having at least one adverse childhood experience. Of that group, 28 percent reported verbal abuse, 24 percent reported a drinking problem in the household, 17 percent reported mental illness in the household and 16 percent reported physical abuse. And among people reporting adverse childhood experiences, more than half had experienced more than two. (MPR News)