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HF 1946

as introduced - 90th Legislature (2017 - 2018) Posted on 03/20/2017 04:25pm

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A bill for an act
relating to community development; establishing a Somali community development
pilot grant program; requiring reports; appropriating money; proposing coding for
new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 116J.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

[116J.9921] SOMALI COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PILOT GRANT
PROGRAM.

Subdivision 1.

Definitions.

(a) For the purposes of this section, the following terms have
the meanings given.

(b) "Commissioner" means the commissioner of employment and economic development.

(c) "Community initiative" means a nonprofit organization which:

(1) participates in a statewide collaborative network serving Somali communities; and

(2) provides services to Somali communities in one or more of the program areas listed
in subdivision 4, paragraph (b).

(d) "Intermediary organization" means a nonprofit organization that is highly
knowledgeable about community initiatives providing services to Somali communities in
one or more of the program areas listed in subdivision 4, paragraph (b).

Subd. 2.

Establishment.

The commissioner shall establish a Somali community
development pilot grant program to award grants to one or more intermediary organizations
to identify and support community initiatives designed to enhance long-term economic
self-sufficiency by improving health, education, housing, and economic outcomes for
Minnesota Somali communities.

Subd. 3.

Grants to intermediary organizations.

(a) The commissioner shall award
grants to one or more intermediary organizations through a competitive process. In
determining grant awards, the commissioner shall give weight to applications from
organizations that demonstrate:

(1) a high level of knowledge about community initiatives providing services to Somali
communities in one or more program areas listed in subdivision 4, paragraph (b);

(2) a history of successful past collaboration with such community initiatives; and

(3) a history of successful fund-raising from private sources for such initiatives.

(b) Intermediary organizations awarded grants by the commissioner shall receive all
grant funds intended for distribution to community initiatives under subdivision 4.

(c) An intermediary organization awarded a grant under this subdivision may use up to
five percent of grant funds for administrative costs.

Subd. 4.

Grants to community initiatives.

(a) An intermediary organization awarded
a grant under subdivision 3 must award funds through a competitive grant process to
community initiatives within that intermediary organization's service area.

(b) The intermediary organization must award grants to community initiatives that will
provide services, either alone or in partnership with another nonprofit organization, in one
or more of the following areas:

(1) economic development, including but not limited to programs to foster
entrepreneurship or small business development in Minnesota Somali communities;

(2) health, including but not limited to programs to provide Somali community-based
preventative, behavioral, or pregnancy-related health care;

(3) education, including but not limited to programs to encourage civic engagement or
early childhood development or that provide after-school or recreation programs targeted
at Somali youth; or

(4) housing, including but not limited to programs to prevent and respond to homelessness
in Somali communities or to provide access to loans or grants for housing stability and
affordability.

(c) To receive grant funds, a community initiative must submit a written application to
an intermediary organization, using a form developed by that intermediary organization.
This grant application must include:

(1) a description of the activities that will be funded by the grant;

(2) an estimate of the cost of each grant activity;

(3) the total cost of the project;

(4) the sources and amounts of nonstate funds supplementing the grant;

(5) how the project aims to achieve stated outcomes in areas including improved public
health and health care delivery; job training; workforce development; small business support;
early childhood, kindergarten through grade 12, and higher education achievement; and
access to housing, including loans; and

(6) any additional information requested by an intermediary organization.

(d) In awarding grants under this subdivision, the intermediary organization shall give
weight to applications from organizations that demonstrate:

(1) a history of successful provision of the services listed in paragraph (b); and

(2) a history of successful fund-raising from private sources for such services.

(e) In evaluating grant applications, the intermediary organization shall not consider the
composition of a community initiative's governing board.

(f) Grant funds may be used by a community initiative for the following purposes:

(1) operating costs, including but not limited to staff, office space, computers, software,
and Web development and maintenance services;

(2) program costs;

(3) travel within Minnesota;

(4) consultants directly related to and necessary for delivering services listed in paragraph
(b); and

(5) capacity building.

Subd. 5.

Limitation.

To the extent possible, at least 50 percent of grant amounts awarded
under subdivision 4 must be distributed to community initiatives serving areas located
outside of the seven-county metropolitan area, as defined in section 473.121, subdivision
2.

Subd. 6.

Reports to the legislature.

By January 15, 2019, and each January 15 thereafter
through January 2022, the commissioner must submit a report to the chairs and ranking
minority members of the committees of the house of representatives and the senate having
jurisdiction over economic development that details the use of grant funds. This report must
include data on the number of individuals served and, to the extent practical, measures of
progress toward achieving the outcomes stated in subdivision 4, paragraph (c), clause 5.

Sec. 2. APPROPRIATION.

$9,000,000 in fiscal year 2018 and $9,000,000 in fiscal year 2019 are appropriated from
the general fund to the commissioner of employment and economic development for the
Somali community development pilot grant program established under Minnesota Statutes,
section 116J.9921. These appropriations are available until June 30, 2022. Starting in fiscal
year 2022, the base funding for this program shall be $0.

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