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May 4 Action Alert: Health and Human Services Funding Cuts

advocacylogowebIMMEDIATE 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:

Make your voice heard: Contact your state legislators, House and Senate leadership, and the governor to tell them that you insist the DHS budget be protected so vulnerable people aren't harmed. Please remember, whether you're writing them an e-mail or a letter or calling on the phone, be respectful, even if you feel angry. When writing to your state representatives, be sure to tell them you are a constituent; if they know you can vote in their district, your message carries more weight.

WHO TO CONTACT
You can find out who represents you at the link HERE. Contact information for the House and Senate Leadership is listed below:

House Leadership

Speaker of the House: Kurt Daudt
Phone: 651.296.5364
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Health and Human Services Finance Committee Chair: Matt Dean
Phone: 651.296.3018
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Vice Chair: Tony Albright
Phone: 651.296.5185
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Committee Minority Lead: Erin Murphy
Phone: 651.296.8799
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Health and Human Services Reform Committee Chair: Joe Schomacker
Phone: 651.296.5505
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Vice Chair: Glenn Gruenhagen
Phone: 651.296.4229
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Committee Minority Lead: Tina Liebling
Phone: 651.296.0573
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Senate Leadership

President of Senate: Michelle Fischbach
Phone: 651.296.2084
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Health and Human Services Finance & Policy Committee Chair: Michelle Benson
Phone: 651.296.3219
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Health and Human Services Finance & Policy Committee Vice Chair: Scott Jensen,
Phone: 651.296.4831
E-mail form link (No direct e-mail available)

Ranking Minority Member: Tony Lourey
Phone: 651.296.2093
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

OTHER OPTIONS

Write to the media: Tell them how cuts to DHS will hurt you or a loved one. Send a letter to the editor; call a television station's news room; share your story broadly in your social media. If you reference elected officials on Facebook or Twitter, be sure to tag them so they can see your comments, too.

Learn more: Consider attending the Friday advocacy meeting hosted by the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD), which will take place tomorrow, May 5, from 12-1 p.m. in Room 300 North of the State Office Building in St. Paul. You also can attend CCD's regular "Tuesday at the Capitol" meeting on May 8, where you can meet with your legislator and express your opposition to cuts to the Health and Human Service budget.

Involve your network of friends and family: Encourage the people in your circle to help advocate for your or your loved one. Ask your parents and siblings to contact their elected officials. If you have staff who assist with care, encourage them to do so as well.

Together, we can make the autism community heard, and demand that our elected representatives protect the well-being of all Minnesotans.