ARC: Repeal the 1.67 percent cut to disability services

The Arc Minnesota position: The Legislature should repeal the 1.67 percent reduction in funding for disability services, which is scheduled to last from July 1, 2013, through Dec.31, 2013.

 Why the 1.67 percent cut should be repealed: People with disabilities have experienced hundreds of millions of dollars in cuts to their services over the past decade, and this would add $12 million more in reductions to those supports. Services for people with disabilities should no longer be used to balance our state budget.

 

Background

During the 2011 Minnesota legislative special session, the Legislature approved a cut in disability services funding by 1.67 percent. This cut was included in the 2011 human services bill in case savings from another provision of the bill didn’t materialize.  In that bill, the Legislature directed Minnesota’s Commissioner of Human Services to ask the federal government for changes in criteria for the level of care provided at nursing facilities. The Legislature projected that these changes would save the state of Minnesota money by spending fewer Medicaid dollars. However, because these savings depended on federal approval of these changes by June 30, 2012, the Legislature also approved a 1.67 percent cut in disability services funding if that approval wasn’t obtained.  As it turned out, the federal government did not approve the state’s request by the June 30, 2012, deadline. The Legislature delayed the 1.67 percent cut until July 1, 2013 through payment shifts to disability providers, but the cut is still scheduled to take effect this year.

 

Legislative action

The Arc Minnesota, along with other disability advocacy groups and disability service providers, is garnering support from state legislators for a bill that will repeal the 1.67 percent cut. That bill will be introduced soon, and we urge our members to contact their state senators and representatives to support it.

Upcoming events at The Arc

— Saturday, April 6, 2013, at Austin’s Holiday Inn from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., Taste of Mower County, a fundraiser to benefit The Arc Mower County. Enjoy unlimited tastings of signature items from Mower County’s finest chefs.

Jamey Helgeson is program director at The Arc Mower County and can be reached at jamey@

arcmowercounty.org or by calling 507-433-8994, extension 102.  Visit the website www.arcmowercounty.org or follow on Facebook, www.facebook.com/arcm.

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