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February 2014 advocacy update

Special Education Issues

  • Special Education Case Loads—task force created to review laws & rules & make recommendations to legislature. 
  • Prone Restraint (eliminated in 2015) & Restrictive Procedures—task force continues to meet to make recommendations.
  • Safe Schools For All (anti-bullying)--bill will be reintroduced 2014 legislative session.

Special Education Issues

  • Special Education Case Loads—task force created to review laws & rules & make recommendations to legislature. 
  • Prone Restraint (eliminated in 2015) & Restrictive Procedures—task force continues to meet to make recommendations.
  • Safe Schools For All (anti-bullying)--bill will be reintroduced 2014 legislative session.

Autism Services Insurance Bill

  • Passed in 2013—state-regulated large group health plans will be required to cover speech, occupational, physical and behavioral therapy, including Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and neurodevelopmental therapies, up to age 18.
  • A new bill to expand coverage may be introduced during 2014 session.

$12 million new funding for early intensive autism services for children under age 18

  • Autism treatment experts and stakeholder groups currently meeting with MN Department of Human Services to determine guidelines for eligibility and services.

Community First Services & Supports (CFSS)

  • Beginning Spring 2014.
  • Replaces county services such as PCA & Family Support Grant.
  • Many details TBD—stakeholder task force currently meeting.

Lower Parental Fees for TEFRA passed in 2013

  • No fee for 275% of federal poverty level (previously 100%).
  • Fees reduced back to 2010 rates.

Quality Council

  • In 2012 the State Quality Council (SQC) was formed.
  • In March 2013, the SQC released its report calling for the development of a comprehensive quality improvement system. 
  • During the 2014 legislative session, advocacy agencies are requesting funding for continuing the State Quality Council and beginning implementation of recommendations.

COLA for Direct Care Workers

  • 5% campaign currently has over 100 legislators who support this increase for 2014 session.

Where to find more information:

  • Minnesota Department of Human Services website has a page dedicated to Legislative Session Fact Sheets related to human services.
  • AuSM is a member of the Coalition for Children with Disabilities. Click here to see the Coalition’s 2014 Legislative Priorities.
  • AuSM is a member of the MN Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities. Click here to see the MN-CCD’s 2014 policy agenda.
  • AuSM’s public policy committee works closely with The Arc Minnesota. Click here to link to their action alert network and position statements.

Click here to join the AuSM Advocacy Committee. To provide comments to our committee, contact Jean Bender at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 612.670.8479.