Minnesota’s 2019 legislative session begins Tuesday, January 8th! The Arc Minnesota is excited to share our 2019 Legislative Agenda for the upcoming session, which includes policy proposals aimed at addressing some of the major issues impacting Minnesotans with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.
You can listen to our webinar discussing our legislative priorities here!
Reduce MA TEFRA Parental Fees
Issue: Since 1990, the state has imposed a sliding scale parental fee on families accessing services and supports for their children with disabilities through MA-TEFRA. These fees have dramatically increased over time, making MA-TEFRA unaffordable for many Minnesota families – forcing them into debt, or foregoing the services their children need altogether.
Our goal: Reducing parental fees associated with MA-TEFRA will ensure that all Minnesota children with disabilities get the supports they need to build a foundation for success, regardless of parental income.
Join parents, advocates, and elected officials to talk about MA TEFRA, tell your family’s story, and learn how to get involved in improving access to services and supports for children with disabilities during the 2019 legislative session! For more information, view our 2019 MA TEFRA Town Hall Forum Flyer.
Get connected with other families impacted by parental fees on the Coalition to Lower Minnesota MA-TEFRA Parental Fees Facebook page.
Establish the Minnesota Inclusion Initiative
Issue: For many years, the Minnesota legislature has funded training for self-advocates with intellectual and developmental disabilities to learn about public policy and the legislative process and tell their own personal stories. It is time to build on that training and provide funding for utilizing self-advocacy skills to organize around increasing inclusion in the community.
Our goal: By establishing microgrants for self-advocacy groups statewide, the Minnesota Inclusion Initiative aims to increase the inclusion of people with I/DD in the community, improve community integration outcomes, educate decision-makers and the general public about systemic barriers to inclusion, and provide opportunities to advocate for change.
Prevent Sexual Violence & Abuse
Issue: National data shows that individuals with I/DD experience sexual violence at a rate seven times higher than others who do not have a disability, with 66% of sexual violence incidents perpetrated by someone they know – whether staff, relative, intimate partner, or other acquaintance.
Our goal: Investing in data collection and evaluation – while enhancing evidence-based training and education – will help prevent perpetration of sexual violence against people with I/DD, protecting their human rights.
Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault “What Is Sexual Violence?
National Public Radio “Abused and Betrayed” investigative series
Office of Developmental Primary Care’s “Our Sexuality, Our Health
Reform Minnesota’s PCA Program
Issue: The workforce shortage is a cross-sector crisis affecting industries statewide, but the stakes for Minnesotans with disabilities are literally life and death. Without significant reform in the Personal Care Assistance (PCA) program, the staffing crisis will erode the independence of people with disabilities, forcing them into more restrictive, expensive institutional settings.
Our goal: Reforming Minnesota’s PCA program with a data-driven rate framework will support long-term sustainability of this cost-effective service, which helps people with disabilities live and work as independently as possible.
Learn more and get connected with the PCA Reform Coalition on Facebook
Improve Consumer Directed Community Supports
Issue: Consumer Directed Community Supports (CDCS) offers people accessing Medical Assistance (MA) waivers a range of options in effectively managing their funding and staff.
Our goal: Expanding CDCS to allow for shared care and other flexible, non-traditional supports will help alleviate the workforce shortage while honoring self-direction, and ensure that people with disabilities and their families have access the services that are important to and for them.
Stabilize Home & Community Based Services
Issue: The Best Life Alliance 2019 legislative proposal ends a destabilizing cut to community-based services rates due to federal action, and takes steps to address the severe workforce shortage impacting the critical supports accessed by over 30,000 Minnesotans with disabilities to live and work in their communities.
Our goal: Supporting the Best Life Alliance legislation will enact much needed reforms to the rate setting system for critical home & community based services.
Learn more about the Best Life Alliance
Get connected with the Best Life Alliance on Facebook
Expand Affordable Housing Options
Issue: Individuals with disabilities and people in direct support professions are struggling to find accessible, affordable housing options throughout Minnesota. This limits choice, increases dependence on institutional settings, puts people at risk of homelessness, and drives up costs for the state.
Our goal: Investing in the Homes for All legislative proposals and prioritizing affordable, supportive housing options statewide will provide more individuals with disabilities the opportunity to live as independently as possible in inclusive settings of their choice.
Learn more about Homes for All
Get connected with Homes for All on Facebook
Invest in Special Education
We are also working with the Coalition for Children with Disabilities to develop legislative “asks” aimed at improving and investing in special education services; we’ll be sure to share more details about those proposals in the coming weeks and months.
Who Represents Me at the State Capitol?