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Arc Minnesota "Snap Shots"
An opportunity to share your story directly with state senators.
The Minnesota Senate Health and Human Services Budget Division will take public testimony on the Governor’s Health and Human Services budget on Tuesday and Wednesday, February 15th & 16th, from 9:00 – 11:30 a.m. in Room 123 of the State Capitol. This is an excellent chance to voice your concerns about the budget and share your story about parental fees, Consumer Directed Consumer Supports, Medical Assistance co-pays and dental limits, caps on waiver services, waiver waiting lists, or other legislative priorities of The Arc of Minnesota. To sign up to testify, please call 651-296-4261 by noon on Monday, February 14. When you call, leave your name, phone number, the topic or issue you would like to address, and the day you will be testifying. If you plan to testify, please contact Steve Larson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-523-0879, ext. 115, so we can coordinate testimony on all of our priority issues.
Legislators hear moving testimony about parental fees.
On Wednesday, Feb. 9th, the Minnesota House Health Policy and Finance Committee heard about the impact of parental fee increases from two parents – Jessica Wilson from St. Cloud and Brad Trahan from Rochester. Jessica and Brad testified at a hearing on HF 619, a bill to reduce part of the increase in parental fees that took effect in 2003. Both spoke of the financial strain that the increases have placed on their households; Jessica shared how her family was forced to leave the TEFRA program because of the dramatic jump in fees. The parents’ testimony – and Jessica’s adorable son Lars, who has spina bifida – got the legislators’ attention, and HF 619 was approved for inclusion in the House Health and Human Services omnibus bill. The Arc of Minnesota will continue to work throughout the session for legislation that will bring the maximum amount of reduction in these fees.
Documents to help you with your CDCS case are available.
The Arc of Minnesota has posted three documents on our web site (www.arcminnesota.com) to help families using the Consumer Directed Community Supports (CDCS) option to gather information about their services, especially families who are considering CDCS appeals. The documents include Gathering Evidence to Support CDCS Services; Maintaining CDCS Documents; and a Health, Safety, and Welfare Guide. We thank Arc Hennepin-Carver for creating these documents and for making them available to us and to families.
President submits budget Congress; disability supports targeted for major cuts.
President Bush submitted his Fiscal Year 2006 budget to Congress on Monday, Feb. 7th. The budget increases overall federal spending by 2.1%. Some discretionary programs like defense and homeland security receive large increases, while about 150 domestic programs are targeted for elimination or dramatic cuts. The President hopes to reduce Medicaid spending by at least $45 billion over the next 10 years; for Minnesota, this would mean a $712 million cut, according to Families USA, a Washington, D.C. advocacy group on health care issues. The Consortium for Citizens With Disabilities, of which The Arc of the U.S. is a member, issued a statement the day after the budget was submitted, saying the budget “breaks the promise” with citizens with disabilities made by the Bush Administration during its first term in office to reduce barriers to “full rights and the dignity of citizenship.” The Consortium cited measures that would eliminate or scale back employment programs at Department of Education and the Department of Labor for people with disabilities; cut assisted housing funds through the Department of Housing and Urban Development by 50%; and spend only half of the funds authorized to implement the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act.
Job opening at Arc Hennepin-Carver.
The local chapter is looking for an IDEA Specialist. The position involves programming and outreach activities for the “What’s the Big IDEA?” training program that Arc Hennepin-Carver has been using with families in its services area as well as with other Minnesota chapters of The Arc. Responsibilities include curriculum review and development, facilitator training, scheduling, budgeting, volunteer outreach, program promotion, cross-cultural inclusion, data collection, and partnering with other community organizations. For more information and a job description, call 952-920-0855. Application deadline is February 28, 2005.