MN-CCD sets its agenda of 2012 legislative priorities

The Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (MN-CCD) is ready for the start of the 2012 legislative session on Jan. 24. The umbrella organization of disability groups adopted its legislative agenda Dec. 14.

A longer list of priorities was unveiled in November, and given to member groups to prioritize. The top items will be championed by MN-CCD. Other issues will be deemed support issues, as they are led by other groups, or issues to monitor. MN-CCD chose legislative and policy issues to track this session.

Work groups met for several months to draft position papers on areas of focus, which is where the priorities were drawn from.

The legislative issues MN-CCD will take leadership roles on include a 10 percent low-need congregate care cut; the 20 percent personal care attendant (PCA) family member wage cut; a Department of Human Services bill impacting PCA services; and proposed changes to Minnesota special education laws and rules.

MN-CCD will also take the lead on two possible Constitutional issues expected to come up in 2012. One is the voter identification issue, which would require everyone to show ID before voting. This is opposed by a number of disability community groups.

Another Constitutional issue that is raising red flags is a proposal that all tax increases require approval by a“super-majority.”

MN-CCD will support other groups on the issues of employment initiatives, use of prone restraints in schools, My Life My Choices changes and the bed de-licensing provision passed in 2010. Issues the consortium will monitor include bullying prevention, transit and other issues.

Proposed policy areas were also selected. MA reform waiver, managed care for persons with disabilities, consumer-directed community supports budget methodology, the Statewide Quality Assurance Council and Olmstead Commission/Rule 40 will be issues MN-CCD will lead on. Issues the consortium will support include individual choice and control over housing, Money Follows the person, rate restructuring, the DHS Consumer Advisory Panel and state insurance exchange.

Issues MN-CCD will monitor include vocational rehabilitation services, the alternative licensure work group, the dual eligibles initiative, provider-based reform delivery and special education work group funding.

MN-CCD Grassroots Action Session Kick—Off is 3-5 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 17th at The Center for Changing Lives, 2400 Park Ave. S, Minneapolis. Participants can learn more about “Tuesdays at the Capitol” – a weekly opportunity during the legislative session for disability advocates to communicate with their legislators at the capitol. The events are for self-advocates, family members, friends or professionals in the disability community interested in attending a “Tuesday at the Capitol” this session.

Learn how to prepare for and what to expect on a “Tuesday at the Capitol.” Get a preview of a typical “Tuesday at the Capitol”, including providing updates on current legislative issues impacting the disability community as well as a brief training on how to effectively communicate with your legislators. Learn about legislative meetings and the resources available.

The 2012 legislative session is just around the corner, and the collective voice of the entire disability community at the capitol will be needed. RSVP by emailing denafelper@arcgreatertwincities.org or by calling (952) 920-0855 by Jan. 13th. Light refreshments will be provided.

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