AuSM supporters and other members of Minnesota’s autism and disability community are encouraged to attend Tuesday at the Capitol, hosted by AuSM, on Tuesday, April 17 from 9:30-11 a.m. Held during Autism Awareness Month, AuSM’s Tuesday at the Capitol will focus on the critical last phase of the legislative session. Learn about the legislation that impacts our community; plan in advance for a visit with your legislators after the meeting (AuSM can help with this!); and build relationships with community members and lawmakers. Cost: FREE, but registration is encouraged. Click here to register.
Do you know someone who lives in Alaska, Colorado, Louisiana, Maine, Ohio, or Nevada? Ask them to call their Senator today and HELP SAVE MEDICAID.
In the next few days the U.S. Senate will be be voting on the Better Care Reconciliation Act, a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act and make significant cuts and caps to the Medicaid program.
This drastic reduction in funding would force states to cut services to children with disabilities. In Minnesota more than 200,000 children and adults with disabilities receive Medicaid assistance. Additionally, Minnesota schools annually receive approximately $45 million in Medicaid reimbursements for health-related services for students with disabilities, such as occupational, physical, and speech therapy. If this bill becomes law, the important services and programs that Medicaid funds to support children with disabilities at home, school, and in the community will be at risk.
IMMEDIATE ACTION NEEDED
Contact legislative leaders now to have an impact on health and human services funding and policy before the Legislature adjourns.
We are appreciative of Governor Dayton's recent veto of SF 800, a bill that would have reduced funding for disability services by millions of dollars and would have caused significant challenges to Minnesotans living with disabilities. This detrimental bill was passed by the legislature, despite a projected budget surplus of more than $1.6 million.
House and Senate leaders and the governor now are negotiating on a new bill, which must be completed before the legislature officially adjourns Monday, May 22. Given that tight timeline, there could be agreement among state officials at any time on a new bill, and the Health and Human Services Conference Committees could have little time to debate and pass that bill.
Your advocacy can help restore some of the budget cuts that were in the vetoed bill, along with several important benefits that include: new employment services, a 25 percent reduction in TEFRA parental fees, an expansion of consumer-directed community supports, and increased housing.
IMMEDIATE ACTION NEEDED
The Minnesota legislature is a proposing a $505 million reduction to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHS) budget for the coming year. A reduction in funding would be devastating to programs for people with disabilities and seniors. However, the final budget has not yet been finalized, and there is time to prevent these reductions.
Organizations including AuSM are on record opposing these cuts, and we have worked diligently to let legislators know how they will hurt the most vulnerable people in our state. But to really make an impact, the legislators need to hear from YOU.
If you oppose these drastic cuts, here are some things you can do:
The Minnesota legislature has proposed significant cuts to funding in Health and Human Services. The Senate plans to cut $335 million and the House plans to cut $559 million. These cuts will have negative effects on access to services for people with disabilities. If this concerns you or a loved one, contact both your legislators and the legislative leaders at the Capitol. Let them know how their proposed spending cuts will impact you and other people with disabilities.
WHO TO CONTACT
Click here to find your legislators.