The Minnesota Senate adjourned sine die last week on Wednesday, July 7th. The legislature plans to convene for another special session in September to vote on how to spend federal COVID relief dollars ($250 million) for frontline workers. Members of the working group to determine the spending were announced this week: House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler, Rep. Cedrick Frazier, Sen. Erin Murphy, Sen. Mary Kiffmeyer, and Sen. Karin Housley. Until then, our Public Policy team will work on end-of-session wrap-up and planning for next session.
Recovery Education Resource
Thanks to our partners at Multicultural Autism Action Network and Legal Aid/Minnesota Disability Law Center, we have a helpful video resource to explain the Recovery Education bill that passed this session. Special shoutout to our board member, Maren Christenson for her incredible work in creating the video.
Please share this resource with your networks so that students who have disabilities can get support as soon as possible.
Mark Your Calendars
Celebrating Resilience: ADA 31st Anniversary Celebration
Monday, July 26, 12:00 pm–1:30 pm
You're invited! Celebration and inspiration rule the day as we mark the 31st Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This free, online event will feature informative, engaging and entertaining speakers and performances that will uplift and inspire you.
Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan will provide a virtual greeting to event attendees and offer a special Proclamation recognizing July 26, 2021 as the 31st Anniversary of the ADA.
Duluth Mayor Emily Larson will share ways the Zenith City is working to ensure greater accessibility for all its residents and visitors.
NAMI Minnesota’s Executive Director Sue Abderholden will reflect on ways the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted people with disabilities and the resilience shown by so many.
Great Lakes ADA Center Project Manager Peter Berg will discuss the transformation to teleworking as a vital accessibility accommodation during the pandemic.
Disability lead for the COVID-19 Community Coordinators Initiative Mai Thor will share the state’s efforts to reach people with disabilities during the pandemic.
ARC Northland’s Adult and Family Services Manager Meredith Kujala will serve as event emcee.
2021 Self-Advocacy Conference, The Power of Self-Advocacy
July 27 – 31
Self-Advocates Minnesota (SAM) SE would like to invite you to their Virtual Regional Conference. SAM is a network of self-advocates, advisors, allies, friends, families, and professionals led by self-advocates. SAM is working on Personal Empowerment, Systems Change, Leadership Development, Public Awareness, and Education. Registration and Information
Department of Education Releases Funds to Support Children With Disabilities
On July 1, the Department of Education released over $3 billion in American Rescue Plan funds to support 7.9 million infants, toddlers, and students with disabilities being served under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
Federal Eviction Moratorium Extended Through July 31
On July 24, the Biden Administration extended the federal eviction moratorium for 30 additional days, through July 31, 2021. The eviction moratorium prohibits evictions for non-payment of rent if the tenants have faced COVID-related financial hardship. This extension will provide more time for Emergency Rental Assistant Program funds to be distributed to tenants and landlords.
D.C. Circuit Court Overturns FDA Ban on Shock Device for Disabled Students
On July 7, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit overturned the Food and Drug Administration’s ban on the use of electric shock devices that has inflicted painful abuse on residents of the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center (JRC) in Canton, Massachusetts for decades. JRC is an institution for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and mental health issues. The Arc and The Arc of Massachusetts, alongside several disability rights organizations and self-advocates across the country, fought for decades to stop this practice.
The American Rescue Plan included an expansion of the Child Tax Credit. This is a credit available to families with children under the age of 18. The ARP also made this credit refundable monthly. This means that families will start to receive monthly payments, beginning on July 15th. These payments should not be counted for Social Security purposes.