We are at one of the most critical times in the evolution of our community-based services system – maybe the biggest challenge to the system we have ever faced. Individuals and programs are all at great risk. YOU can help to make difference during this critical time.
The Senate’s health and human services bill recently unveiled has greater cuts to some disability supports than the House bill. The Governor has not budged on reversing his proposed cuts. Because the House bill cuts less than the Governor and the Senate, this could be as good as it is going to get this session for people with disabilities. Below is a comparison of the House, Governor, and Senate budgets in key areas impacting persons with disabilities. The below chart and additional information in this blog is taken from The Arc of Minnesota website:
|House’s HHS Budget||Governor’s HHS Budget||Senate’s HHS Budget|
|3% provider rate cut to disability services||3% provider rate cut to disability services||3% provider rate cut to disability services|
|$25 million cut in PCA services||$40 million cut in PCA out of $400 million||$30 million cut in PCA services|
|Reduces, but does not eliminate, dental, OT, PT & speech therapy||Eliminates these services for adults||Reduces, but does not eliminate, dental, OT, PT & speech therapy|
|Maintains funding for Region 10 QA||Eliminates funding for this program||Eliminates funding for this program|
|Maintains waiver growth||Eliminates waiver growth||Eliminates waiver growth|
|Cuts Personal Needs Allowance to $89/month||Cut Personal Needs Allowance to $89/month||Cuts Personal Needs Allowance to $89/month|
|Cuts $100 from low-income families receiving SSI||Cuts $125 from low-income families receiving SSI||Doesn’t cut low-income families receiving SSI|
|Increases licensing fees for providers||Increases licensing fees for providers||Doesn’t Increase licensing fees for providers|
If there was ever a time to be strong and steadfast in your advocacy efforts, IT IS NOW! We need our legislators and our Governor to restore fairness to the spending proposals, not make them worse, and we need your voice to keep fairness fixed in their minds. We need them all to live up to their promise to protect our vulnerable citizens -- and we need YOU to hold them to it.
Here is what you can do!
- Personally communicate. Look over the proposed cuts and choose 1-2 that will impact you at least weekly, then contact your legislators and let them know how this proposed change will impact you.
- Sign up to be a Rapid Responder. You will then receive email action alerts and be able to quickly respond. Contact Rita at 320.251.7272 or makingadifference@ArcMidstate.org to do so.
- Spread the word. Forward our alerts to your friends, families, and colleagues and urge them to respond as well. Organize letter writing, e-mail, and call-in campaigns in your communities of faith, social circles, adult forums – any group of people you think might be interested.
- Participate in our Legislative Vigil. Visit Arc Minnesota’s website at www.TheArcOfMinnesota.org, go to www.arcmn.org. Click on the “Help Us Maintain a Constant Presence at the Capitol” link.
With your help, we have prevailed at the Capitol before. With strong grassroots efforts, we stopped the elimination of TEFRA for some families in the mid-1990s. We helped pass legislation to cut the waiting list in 1999 and 2000.
In 2005, we restored cuts made in the 2003 session. We can be successful again, but only if YOU and your network of friends, family and colleagues are part of the fight.
Legislators are telling us they need to hear from us. If we aren’t willing to make the efforts to speak on behalf of our loved ones and those in our care – why should others care?