Many of you are already aware that last Tuesday, Aug. 31, Governor Pawlenty announced an executive order requiring all state agencies to send any federal grant requests related to federal healthcare reform through his office, noting that he would likely not allow these grant requests to move forward unless they are required by law. The federal healthcare reform legislating that was passed this past year contains a variety of opportunities for states to apply for specific healthcare reform grants from the federal government. At this point it is unclear exactly how much this action will cost the state of Minnesota, but some estimates place this number as high as tens of millions of dollars in lost potential grant money. You can view a Star Tribune story on the decision here.
Minnesota’s disability community will feel the impact of this decision. First of all, federal monies that would have come to MN in the form of specific healthcare reform grants would have lessened the strain on Minnesota’s overall Medicaid budget. Secondly, a number of the state grant opportunities outlined in federal healthcare reform legislation were designed to support states in their work to serve individuals with disabilities in their homes and communities, rather than in institutions. The inability of Minnesota to move forward with applying for these grants will negatively impact our state’s progress in this area.
As a specific example, federal healthcare reform legislation included a $200,000 planning grant for a Money Follows the Person program that would have supported states in helping individuals with disabilities to move out of nursing homes and into the community by providing an increased federal Medicaid match for the individual’s first year in community services. A Minnesota state agency’s plan to move forward with applying for this grant was stopped as a result of this executive order.
MN-CCD leaders will continue to meet with state officials and other stakeholders to discuss this issue, so stay tuned for updates.
– Anni Simons
Please remember to bring a couple of dollars with you when you come to Boom Island on Monday. All of the public parking is pay-only, one dollar an hour. We’ll have volunteers available to help you figure it out and we do have a limited supply of free parking passes if you really need one. See you there!
Our first MN CCD POLICY GRILL is all set for Monday.
Please come and help us kick-off our fall grassroots events season in style. Enjoy some summer weather, east some food and meet Minneapolis candidates for the Minnesota Legislature. Plus, it’s a great warm up for the State Fair which opens the following Thursday.
On the menu will be: hamburgers, all-beef hot dogs, chips, pasta salad, fruit, cookies, soda pop and water. Jeff Nachbar from the Brain Injury Association of Minnesota will be running the grill and we hope to see you there!
2010 is an exciting year, the persons elected to the Minnesota legislature will play an important role in Minnesota’s future. So let’s take advantage of the summer weather, enjoy some great food from the grill, get to know the candidates from your district, and learn where they stand on the issues that matter most to you.
Monday August 23 • Boom Island Park, Area C
724 Sibley St. NE Minneapolis / 5-7pm
Tuesday August 31 • Kingsley Commons
4550 N Humboldt Ave, Minneapolis / 5-7pm
Thursday September 2 • Powderhorn Park
3400 15th Avenue S, Minneapolis / 5-7pm
Join us so you can make a more informed decision on November 2.
Contact Anni S at 651-523-0823 ext. 112 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Take a look at this interesting article which touches on many of the issues we in the disability advocacy community are currently discussing: New York Times Article
Petitions are now being circulated in Minneapolis, St. Paul and Duluth to put an issue on the November 2, 2010 election ballot that, if passed, will require all registered voters to present a valid photo ID when voting in municipal elections. The measures would apply to city elections only, not state or federal. They would not apply to absentee ballots. Roughly 10 % of people with disabilities do not have a photo ID that would allow them to vote, and they would face significant barriers to getting one. People with disabilities who do not drive may have trouble getting to a government office to get an ID. The petition proposals say that the cost of getting a photo ID will be paid by the cities if the person cannot afford it, but the supporting documents for getting an ID card—Birth Certificate, marriage licenses, etc.—can be costly and time-consuming to track down. The deadline for the ballot petitions to be submitted is July 6, 2010, in all three cities. The Voting Rights Coalition, a non-partisan coalition whose purpose is to promote voting rights and civic engagement, is working to bring attention to this issue. If you would like more detailed information regarding the petition process, please contact email@example.com , or 612-746-3711.
Some background information on this issue from the Voting Rights Coalition:
Photo ID requirements will not stop voter fraud.
Photo ID requirements are an unnecessary expense.
If you don’t have a photo ID, it takes time, money – and other ID – to meet the proposal’s requirement. Furthermore, the petition says that people who cannot afford a photo ID would be able to get one at no cost. There are, however, many hidden costs.
Many eligible voters do not have photo ID.