Steve Larson, Public Policy Director for The Arc of Minnesota, detailed The Arc of Minnesota’s 2011 Legislative Agenda. “We will be an active participant in the Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities to protect those essential disability supports that provide safety, opportunity, and security. We will also strongly support the Safe Schools for All legislation to prevent bullying in our schools.”
In addition, Larson said The Arc of Minnesota will emphasize three other issues that have been particularly important to its members:
• Greater Consumer Control Over Services – “We believe people with disabilities and their families need more flexibility to choose and tailor their services to best meet their needs and use funds more efficiently,” Larson said. This would include more choices in housing that give people with disabilities greater independence and save the state money.
• Quality Assurance – This would include expanding the Region 10 Quality Assurance Program, a successful model that gives people with disabilities a greater voice in determining quality. The Arc of Minnesota also wants to implement new federal and state innovations that can transform our service system, like an increased federal Medicaid match to states that move people from institutions into the community.
• Parental Fees – “We want to prevent further increases in the fees that parents pay for services provided through Medical Assistance, services that help keep their children with disabilities in the community and help keep families together,” Larson said. The Legislature and the Governor approved another increase during the 2010 Legislative Session. The Arc of Minnesota opposes singling out families who have children with disabilities from other families by taxing them with further fee increases.
The Arc of Minnesota complete agenda is on its website at www.arcmn.org.