On to the Minnesota House!
Your voice needed before Special Session Monday
Dear Disability Advocates, Participants, Families, Programs and Supporters,

With a second Special Session likely to happen on Monday, July 13, we need all hands on deck to contact their Representative to ask that the House join the Senate in passing emergency financial relief for disability services.

Considerable efforts have been made in the past few weeks to explain the current financial crisis facing disability employment and life enrichment service providers and the need for some form of immediate emergency financial relief, and we need everyone to activate their network to contact their Representative before Monday.

Four things to keep in mind:

  1. Enter the word constituent in the email subject line;
  2. After the greeting, enter your home address to verify that you are a constituent;
  3. Begin the email with the value of employment and life enrichment services for your life/your family member’s life; and
  4. Use any of the speaking points below to support your message.
  • Our state has a strong history of working to provide support services to adults with disabilities so they have meaningful options for employment or other daytime enrichment activities. We have worked continuously to change and evolve those services to actively support Minnesotans with disabilities to live their best lives.
  • At this moment we are in danger of losing the progress made as a state in this area as well as the potential to continue to reform these disability employment and day services.
  • For Minnesotans with disabilities to have access to meaningful employment and day enrichment services in communities around our state, we need a system of quality service providers to provide those disability supports.
  • Approximately 100 nonprofit organizations located in Minnesota communities provide these disability supports to over 26,000 Minnesotans, and are facing significant financial hardship now due to COVID-19. These need one time limited financial relief to help cover fixed costs and allow them time to adapt their service models.
  • The majority of these providers of disability employment and day enrichment services had to close down most of their services in mid-March to help avoid the spread of COVID, and have now gone nearly four months without reimbursement for those closed services. 
  • For most, this has represented between 85 to 95% in lost monthly revenue.
  • Some recent progress has been made with providers and MN DHS working together to operationalize the details of how to provide daytime supports, both employment and life enrichment focused, to Minnesotans with disabilities in alternative ways during this pandemic.
  • However, even with these new options for services to be provided in alternative ways in limited situations, most organizations are still running out of financial resources to weather these past months of lost reimbursement.
  • These nonprofit disability employment and day service organizations have been working in their own communities around the state for many years to support Minnesotans with disabilities to explore innovative and evolving service options and had hoped to continue this important work into the future.
  • In fact, MN Special Session Chapter 2, approved by Governor Walz on June 18, has important language in it specific to our goal as a state to continue to strengthen employment services available to Minnesotans with disabilities.
  • However, given the multiple months now of limited to no revenue due to COVID related closures, the very nonprofit organizations that provide these disability supports are instead having to plan for staff and service reductions.
  • As my Minnesota House member, I am asking you to reach out to Speaker Hortman to express to her how critical it is for the legislature to pass some form of emergency financial relief during the upcoming special session to avoid lack of access to these critical disability services when we return from this pandemic.
  • While there will be many sad losses of businesses and community resources as a result of this pandemic, returning to a Minnesota where adults with significant developmental and physical disabilities lack access to meaningful and individualized services to support them in their employment and day enrichment activity goals will be a particularly devastating loss.
Your involvement does make a difference! Thank you.