Public Policy

Shutdown 2011 Day Five: Updates for Disability Community

First – some updates on what we do and do not know at this point:
– We know disability services provided under Medicaid will be paid for during the shutdown. As was reported last week, Judge Gearin ruled that certain state services are critical to the health and safety of Minnesotans and that therefore these services would continue to be provided in the event of a shutdown. Medicaid services were included in this list.

– We don’t know when Special Master Blatz will issue a decision on whether background checks for new disability service employees as well as the Housing Access Services Program will continue to be paid for during a shutdown. These two disability services were not included in the list of services deemed essential by Judge Gearin, and therefore MN-CCD member organizations  ARRM, LSS and the Arc MN (as well as others) testified before Special Master Blatz last Friday and into Tuesday morning on the importance of continuing to fund these services during the shutdown.

– We know that certain disability services will not be paid for during a shutdown, and that individual counties will be deciding whether they are able to continue providing these services for some time without this state funding. These disability services include Semi Independent Living Skills, Family Support Grants, and certain county respite and county DT&H funding streams.

We will post further updates as soon as we learn more about any of the above outstanding questions.

Second – what you can do if you want to take more action:
– Some nonprofit organizations have started a grassroots lawn sign making campaign in response to the shutdown and the broader budget issues – click here for more information.

– Many of you likely heard the comments Governor Dayton shared on Thursday night as he announced that the state would indeed be heading into a shutdown. As part of his comments Governor Dayton stated “I cannot accept a Minnesota where people with disabilities lose part of the time they are cared for by personal care attendants…” Please take a moment to email Governor Dayton and thank him for his support of PCAs and other critical disability services.  A text copy of his remarks can be found here.

– While there has been some press coverage of the shutdown’s impact on disability services, we at MN-CCD are committed to getting the word out about how this disruption in state services as well as current budget proposals will impact disability services. Please send any information on specific impacts of the shutdown on your organization and/or those you serve to asimons@arcmn.org.

 -MN-CCD

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