Editor's Column - April 1991

The Metro Mobility program needs full funding and a commitment of future growth.  If you read my article you will find numbers and  proposals from the Regional Transit Board (RTB) and the United  Handicapped Federation (UHF).  Both organizations are making concessions based on their assumption that the legislature is  reluctant to continue funding a very good para-transit program  which is under-funded. 

The Metro Mobility program does just what a good public transit  program is suppose to do – it attracts more users and gets better every year.  If the MTC mainline bus system worked as well and  had the growth of the Metro Mobility program, the people who run the MTC would get awards for their achievements.  The idea that the Metro Mobility program should limit service or increase fares  almost 100% to its consumers to stay within their budget is  crazy.  The current program works well, and could get better with the right funding.  Funding must come from the State through  general taxation, not from the people who can afford it least, the riders.  The RTB should be looking at the Metro Mobility  program with expansion of ridership and service in mind.  Their  request to the State Legislature should be to fund expansion, not to cut back or shift costs to riders.

One last note on this, I would like to thank Cyndie Mayer at the  RTB for her help – explaining to me how the Metro Mobility program works, and where their funding comes and goes.  Not an easy  job!

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The State’s Health Care Bill is moving ahead in the legislature.    Four of the five articles (HR1, HR2, HR3 & HR5) are now before the full Health and Human Service Committee for debate.  HR4 is in the Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee, this

article deals with health insurance reform.  It is important that  we tell our elected officials – NOW – that we want a Universal  Health Care Bill.  It is one of those programs that will help everyone once it is completely in place.  By providing affordable  health care to all Minnesotans we will be investing in the fu ture.  A healthy person is more likely to be a more productive person. Call your legislator today!

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With spring in the air I’m sure many of you (me included) are  thinking of getting out and about in the warm sunshine.  In this  issue of ACCESS PRESS, we looked at some of the camps available

to many of us.  One of our resources I think is under utilized by  people with disabilities is the State Park system.  A large  number of the parks are accessible and can be used for day-trips,  fishing and camping.  Take a look at the grid we have provided  and if you’re interested, give the Department of Tourism a call for further information.  They have tons of maps, guides and suggestions on how you can make this summer memorable.  Their  telephone number is (612) 296-5029 – outstate 1-800-657-3700.

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ACCESS PRESS is trying to bring you the information you want, but  we need your help.  If you have anything you would like us to  report or have suggestions, write or give me a call at 379-0989.