The 2018 Legislative session ends with mixed outcome
Published 9:05 am Saturday, May 26, 2018
Members of the Minnesota Legislature finished their formal business at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, May 20 , with a flurry of activity in the final days, hours, and minutes before they adjourned.
Legislators approved a bonding bill that included $500,000 to improve state park accessibility and $120 million to preserve and invest in affordable. In addition, legislators passed a 990-page supplemental finance omnibus bill that included many items of importance to the disability community, including:
•Funding to delay the 7 percent cut to Home and Community Based Services.
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•Language formalizing the Enhanced Rate for High Needs PCA.
•Non-exclusionary disciplinary practices to help support students with disabilities in their classrooms and reduce instances of suspension or expulsion.
•A repeal of the bulk purchasing program for incontinence products that reduced choice and minimized available product options.
•The establishment of a Crimes Against Vulnerable Adults Work Group, of which The Arc Minnesota was a proposed member.
•Changes to the MnCHOICES assessment process.
Due to conflict with legislative leaders and concerns about several policy proposals that were included in other sections of the bill, Gov. Dayton vetoed the supplemental finance omnibus on Wednesday, May 23.
We and other members of the Best Life Alliance are now working hard to find alternative solutions that will address the looming 7 percent cut to some disability services, and we will be sure to keep you informed as those discussions progress. The governor has not decided whether to sign the bonding bill.
While many questions about the 7 percent cut remain, we must focus on positive outcomes from this session and celebrate the many victories advocates achieved. With help from everyone who placed calls and sent emails to state legislators, we worked in coalition to put a stop to the transportation constitutional amendment that would have diverted critical resources from Minnesota’s General Fund — the source of funding for health and human services, education, and many more priorities for the disability community. Additionally, we worked together to protect Medical Assistance (MA), defeating work reporting requirements which threatened MA eligibility for 20,000 people with disabilities and jeopardized their healthcare and prescription drug coverage.
None of this would have happened without active community members like you, whose advocacy is so powerful and truly makes a difference!
• 4-H Youth Adventure Club “The Power Of Plants” will continue over the summer on June 4, 11, 18, July 23, 30 and Aug. 6. Contact The Arc to register or if you need more information.
•Special Olympics softball begins on Thursday, June 14, and will continue until Thursday, Sept. 20. Practices are held on Thursday nights at Todd Park South Diamonds from 6-8 p.m.
•View the complete activity calendar at http://bit.ly/2ETIAOn.