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May 17 Action Alert: Improve the HHS Spending and Policy Bill

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.

If this is a matter you care about, contact state legislative leaders NOW, and tell them to preserve and protect funding for Minnesotans with disabilities. Use some of the following message points:

Dear [LEGISLATOR'S NAME],

In your negotiations on the Health and Human Services spending bill, I urge you to:
Increase the budget target above the level in the original House and Senate bill (SF 800).
Retain the provisions in SF 800 that reduce TEFRA parental fees by 25 percent, expand access to self-directed supports, create additional employment services for people with disabilities, and expand access to independent housing for people with disabilities.
Increase the income limit for people with disabilities who must spend down their income to qualify for Medical Assistance.
Increase funding to raise direct care staff wages.

WHO TO CONTACT

Please send your message to the following leaders:

Governor Mark Dayton
Phone: 651-201-3400; 1-800-657-3717 (toll-free); or 1-800-627-3529 (Minnesota Relay)
Click here to e-mail.

Senate Majority Leader: Paul Gazelka
Phone: 651.296.4875
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Senate Minority Leader: Tom Bakk
Phone: 651.296.8881
Click here to e-mail.

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.

House Minority Leader: Melissa Hortman
Phone: 651.296.4280
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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

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

Feel free to contact your local representative as well, although the legislative leaders are the key individuals during this most recent negotiation. You can find your local legislative representatives at the link HERE.