Arc Minnesota 2015 Legislative Priorities:
The 2015 legislative session is an opportunity for members of The Arc to improve the quality of our services, reduce the waiting lists, lower or eliminate parental fees, and raise Medical Assistance income and asset standards for people with disabilities and their families. The new legislature, with a House Republican majority and a Senate Democratic majority, creates a dynamic for an environment in which we can successfully advocate for our 2015 legislative priorities if we get organized and active now.
Following is our legislative agenda for 2015. We have already shared that agenda with several key legislators during the month of January, including Rep. Matt Dean, Chair of the Health and Human Services Finance Committee, and Tara Mack, Chair of the Health and Human Services Reform Committee. We also had a chance to highlight our legislative initiatives in a meeting with the new Department of Human Services Assistant Commissioner Jennifer Decubellis.
At the time this article went to press, we had scheduled appointments with other state legislators who serve on health and human services committees. For regular legislative updates, alerts, and blog posts during this legislative session, go to our website at www.arcmn.org.
Improving the Quality of Services and Supports:
• Fund the State Quality Council
• Support the 5% Campaign
• Fund Self Advocacy Home and Community-Based Services:
• Reduce the 3,500 person waiting list for the Developmental Disabilities Waiver
• Expand Consumer Directed Community Supports(CDCS)
Reducing Barriers to Supports and Services:
• Eliminate Parental Fees
• Lower premiums for Medical Assistance for Employed Persons with Disabilities
• Increase the income and asset limits for people with disabilities
• Support the Down Syndrome Information Act
• Increase dental benefits and improve access to dental care.
Editor’s note: Read legislative updates by Steve Larson, one of the strongest disability advocates and most informed on legislative issues in our state. Larson’s blog and information about happenings at the state and federal levels. Go to The Arc Minnesota website, www.thearcminnesota.org, and click on the “public policy” tab on the home page to subscribe to Larson’s updates.