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Updates at the Minnesota Capitol
Unfortunately, there are not many updates to share from the state level. Not all working groups have agreed on their budget spreadsheets, even though they were due on Friday May, 28th. On May 24th, the Health and Human Services (HHS) working group held a public meeting with a presentation from the Department of Human Services on the allowable uses for federal funding. Thursday evening, Senate HHS chairs sent a letter outlining where the working group currently stands in negotiations. The House responded later that evening with their offer. One agreed upon provision is a rate increase for the Personal Care Assistant Program and rate framework—one of The Arc’s policy goals. Nothing is final yet, but we would be thrilled if the PCA rate increase and framework made it into the final HHS bill. Without policy language, we cannot be sure about the status of our other policy goals. Negotiations are ongoing and the House and Senate continued to exchange offers throughout the weekend.
We continue to monitor for updates from the legislature on final budget and policy agreements, but the timeline is hard to predict.Some spreadsheets have been shared on this page—you can review this page for updates as budget agreements are made. What we do know is that they need to pass a budget by the end of the month or the state government will shut down.
Leadership indicated that there will still be a special session on June 14th, but at this point it may be unlikely that bills will be ready in time to vote on them that day. They may stay in session until budget and policy agreements are made, in hopes of avoiding a shut down on July 1st.
Mark Your Calendars
Hearts of Glass virtual film viewing and panel discussion
Watch the film: June 9th – 17th Join the conversation: June 15th, 4pm
Hearts of Glass is available for streaming to the greater Rochester area from June 9th–17th. Whether you're interested in inclusion, disability rights, local food production, innovation or entrepreneurship -you're going to enjoy this! Watch the film anytime between those dates and join us for an interactive virtual panel discussion on June 15th. Please contact Dawn Kirchner with any questions, Kirchner.Dawn@mayo.edu
View the film trailer: Click Here 2021 Odyssey Legislative Session Updates Webinar
Join senior leadership, including the assistant commissioners and directors of the DHS Aging and Adult Services and Disability Services divisions, for the third webinar in our 2021 Odyssey webinar series. We will give an overview of the 2021 legislative session and the implications for the state’s programs and services for people with disabilities and older adults. We will also give additional context about legislative action and policy changes.
July 20, 2021 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Identify DHS legislative priorities and their status after the 2021 legislative session
Describe the impacts of the 2021 legislation on long-term services and supports programs
Define implementation timelines of legislative policy changes
The legislation to protect students from dangerous seclusion and restraint discipline practices in school was reintroduced. The legislation would ban the use of seclusion and dangerous restraint practices (e.g., physical restraints that affect breathing, chemical restraints) in any school receiving federal taxpayer money. Additionally, KASSA would provide schools with training on evidence-based positive behavior supports and require states to monitor the law's implementation.
Negotiations continue on what to include in recovery and infrastructure legislation. Areas of interest to the disability community that are being considered as part of the legislative packages include:
Ending subminimum wages and modernizing disability employment supports to allow for competitive, integrated employment;
Continued expansion of access to Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) for people with disabilities, ending waiting lists for services and ensuring a stable, valued direct support workforce;
Meeting the needs of children, including children with disabilities in childcare and education from birth through college; and
Ensuring all modernization of physical and virtual infrastructures are accessible
The bill supports family caregivers by offering a federal tax credit of up to $5,000 for those who qualify. The tax credit would provide eligible family caregivers caring for loved ones of all ages with some financial relief and help them pay for services such as home care, adult day care, respite care, and other supports. The Arc supports this legislation, which will help to ensure the financial security of family caregivers of persons with disabilities.