The Minnesota State Council on Disability (MSCOD) is back in the governor’s budget.
Governor Pawlenty released his Supplemental Budget on March 12th. While most of the supplemental changes were additional cuts, one bright spot was a provision recommending a continuation in funding for the MSCOD. The amount recommended was seventy percent of the current funding level.
As reported in the March issue of Access Press, Governor Pawlenty’s 2004-05 Biennial Budget provided “no ongoing funding” for the MSCOD. If that proposal were to become law, the MSCOD would close effective June 30, 2003. It now appears that most Council activities will likely continue, as long as legislators keep the governor’s proposal in their budget bills.
The MSCOD provides a variety of information services, primarily to persons with disabilities. The office acts as a first point of contact for people with disability-related questions ranging from architectural access to workers’ compensation. While most contacts are short, staff often meet with individuals to provide more thorough coaching or technical assistance.
The MSCOD recently completed a series of disability awareness and employment trainings to personnel from a variety of state agencies. Another recent training on disability employment laws was a collaborative effort with ADA Minnesota, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and several business associations such as the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce.
Visit the MSCOD Web site at www.disability.state.mn.us for more information, links and publications.