Action Alert: March 2, 2023
Urge State Leadership to Prioritize the Human Services Budget Target
As we head towards the committee deadline phase of session, attention is turning to the topic of “Budget Targets”. Budget Targets are set by leadership of the MN House and MN Senate and lay out the total amount of money each legislative committee will have to work with as they decide what bills to advance into negotiations between the House and Senate and Governor’s office.
There are many important Human Services legislative asks this session – including the very much needed investments in waiver-funded disability services. Given those critical needs and the state’s budget surplus, MN House and Senate leadership must hear from as many people as possible about the need for a robust Human Services budget target.
How You Can Help Now!
Please contact leadership of the MN House and MN Senate and advocate for a significant budget target for the Human Services Committees.
You can do this by using this online form or by contacting each leader separately:
The time is now to make your voices heard and urge action from our State Leaders!
Legislative Update: January 25, 2023
Minnesota’s Legislative Session is Underway!
Currently, legislators are working on the key issues they hope to address early in the 2023 session. Now is the time when they need to hear from individuals in their districts about prioritizing disability services for early action this session.
How You Can Help Now!
Please reach out to your MN House and MN Senate members. Below you will find points to consider when personalizing and sharing your message.
- Redistricting resulted in many new legislators. Find your legislators here!
- Briefly introduce or re-introduce yourself and your connection to disability services in their district, including disability self-advocate, family member, PRI employee, etc.
- Explain that you are reaching out now that session is officially underway. Ask them for early action this session on investing in waiver-funded disability services to address the current workforce shortage that is resulting in significant service access barriers. Share a brief story with them on how the workforce shortage has personally affected you, your loved one, your family, your place of work, and/or the organization you affiliate with and how it has limited access to equitable opportunities.
- Request that your legislator speaks with the Human Services Finance Chair and their caucus leadership about supporting efforts to act early this session on much needed investments in the waiver-funded disability services workforce shortage. This affects thousands of our state’s most vulnerable individuals, ignored by earlier legislatures. Emphasize that urgent action is needed to support individuals with disabilities because they deserve opportunities to thrive in an inclusive community.
- Offer to talk further with them about this issue so they can learn more about the urgency of this severe waiver-funded disability services workforce shortage. Be sure to let them know that without Direct Support Professionals, individuals with disabilities cannot be supported to participate in community life.
- Close by thanking them for their service and include your name, email, and city of residence.
The time is now to make your voices heard!
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 email@example.com