Legislative Update: April 20, 2022
Take Legislative Action Today: Support the Best Life Alliance Legislation!
As the MN 2022 Legislative Session unfolds, Minnesota is in the midst of an extreme shortage of workers available to provide the hands-on support necessary to support Minnesotans with disabilities to live full lives
In a highly competitive market, the wages and benefits we can pay are limited by our State set reimbursement rates. Service providers reported more than 3,500 people on our waiting lists to access services and group homes are closing, leaving individuals in a state of emergency.
The $9 Billion Surplus Presents an Opportunity for Action Now!
Our state’s current $9 billion surplus, combined with great needs in health and human services presents an opportunity for our legislators to come together and make critical investments before they adjourn this session, and we must continue to push them to do so. At this time the Senate Human Services Omnibus bill proposes additional new funding for the Disability Waiver Rate System, while the House Human Services Omnibus bill does not. Group homes are closing, and more than 3,500 individuals are on waiting lists to return to day and employment services or access them for the first-time, and we must find long-term solutions before the system simply implodes.
It is simple to reach out to your State Senator and Representatives. Using the points below, tell your story:
Opening your email
Open the email by noting that you are reaching out as a constituent. Remind your legislator that our state is in the midst of an incredibly challenging disability services workforce shortage which means that many Minnesotans with disabilities are lacking access to the services needed to survive and thrive in community life.
How this impacts you or your family member: Get Personal!
Share with your legislator how the lack of disability services staff has directly impacted you or your family member’s ability to access the disability services they are seeking. Try to be brief but specific: how has lack of staff limited the services you can access on a daily basis or resulted in a waiting list for you to access services, and how have those service access barriers impacted your daily life? How have these barriers impacted your family? You can share PRI’s data that we have 80 individuals on our waiting list, and 26 staff openings to fill.
What Needs to be Done!
Prompt your legislator to take the action necessary to show that the State values Minnesotans with disabilities living full and meaningful lives. Urge them to increase our State set reimbursement rates to a level that can pay for the staff supports necessary to make this possible. Ask them to include in Omnibus bills ongoing and regularly scheduled updates to the Disability Waiver Rate System aimed at increasing the wages and benefits of Direct Support Professionals working in waivered disability services. Ask them to support an increase that supports staff wages and benefits that can compete with local fast food and other entry level retail work opportunities.
Your MN State Representative and MN State Senator/ Closing
Close your email by offering for your legislator to reach out with any questions, thanking them for their service, and including your name/city.
Thank you for considering this opportunity to make your voice heard!
If you receive a personal reply from one of your elected officials, feel free to forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org