Session moves ahead: Governor’s budget proposal sets the stage for legislative debate

The first month of the 2015 legislative session has been a busy one for Minnesotans with disabilities and advocacy organizations. Gov. Mark Dayton’s proposed $42 […]

St. Cloud resident and advocate Neil Helgeson is speaking for a family member’s needs during the 2015 legislative session. This picture is part of a Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (MN-CCD) campaign.

St. Cloud resident and advocate Neil Helgeson is speaking for a family member’s needs during the 2015 legislative session. This picture is part of a Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (MN-CCD) campaign.

The first month of the 2015 legislative session has been a busy one for Minnesotans with disabilities and advocacy organizations. Gov. Mark Dayton’s proposed $42 billion-plus state budget was a good news/bad news story.

The budget was applauded for its support for children and families, transit and mental health programs. Other programs didn’t fare as well and must face legislative committees. The 5 % Campaign was among the groups unhappy with Dayton’s budget. The proposed package didn’t include a rate increase for programs, in the community that support people with disabilities and older adults. The coalition who represents more than 130 organizations, stated that even with a five percent Home and Community-Based Services increase received in 2014, funding continues to lag behind income standards.

On many issues, legislators are seeing and hearing the phrase #MnAbilityMatters, as part of social media campaign led by the Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (MN-CCD). Stories and photos for the campaign are turning up on MN-CCD’s Twitter and Facebook pages. Advocates are also tracking progress on the state’s Olmstead Plan and watching cuts to human services.

More capitol coverage can be learned in the rest of this month’s issue.

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