Town hall forums announced

The Minnesota Consortium for Citizens for Disabilities (MN CCD) hosts a series of town hall forums this fall to explain the various state budget impacts, and to gather information from the public.

Policymakers will be on hand to listen to concerns. Weeks after the 2011 special session of the Minnesota Legislature, advocates that serve people with disabilities are still trying to sort out the details in various bills that were passed. There are significant changes that will affect persons with disabilities who need help with housing, health care and personal care, as well as transportation in Greater Minnesota. The need to unravel the legislative issues comes at a time when community members are trying to prepare for the 2012 session.

More than 60 people attended a MN-CCD update Aug. 29 on the state budget. Several areas were covered including personal care attendant services, residential services, health care, vocational rehabilitation and special education. Information on those topics will also be available at the forums. One challenge speakers noted is that for many areas, including PCA services, the full impacts of what was done during the special session is still being felt.

Co-Chairman Steve Larson noted that he had predicted a stormy legislative session. “But even I underestimated how stormy this session would be.” He also noted that decisions made during the special session, which had no public hearings, will only push the state’s financial problems into the future. Still, advocacy helped ease many of the cuts.

Pre-registration for the forums is requested, although walk-ins are welcome. Contact Anni at (651) 523-0823 ext 112 or asimons@arcmn.org  for more details.

 

Forums will be held:

• Moorhead: 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15, Hjemkomst Center, 202-1St Ave North.

• Stillwater: 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29, Courage St. Croix, 1460 Curve Crest Blvd.

• Bemidji: 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 4, Bemidji City Hall, 317 4th Street NW

• Burnsville/Apple Valley: 6-8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 10 Burnsville City Hall, 100 Civic Center Parkway

• Willmar: 2-4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13, Kandiyohi County Family Services, 2200 23rd St NE

• St. Cloud: 4:30 – 6:30 p.m., Monday, Oct. 17, St. John’s Episcopal Church, 1111 Cooper Ave S.

• Duluth: 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 25, Residential Services Inc., 2900 Piedmont Ave.

• Worthington: 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Nov, 3, Nobles County Government Center, Farmers Room, 315 10th St.

• Rochester: 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10, Christ United Methodist Church, 400 Fifth Avenue SW

ASL interpreters will be available at each event. Information on many topics will also be available at the forums.