2019 Legislative Session Recap
With the help of grassroots advocacy efforts across Best Life Alliance of Minnesota’s organizations, including Rise, the results of Minnesota’s 2019 legislative session were a tremendous success! The Competitive Workforce Factor which passed at 4.7% last year will help increase the amount of money individuals receive for services, with most of the increase going towards increasing DSP’s wages and benefits.
Rise’s 2020 Legislative Priorities
During the 2020 Minnesota legislative session, Rise advocates and supports legislation presented by the Best Life Alliance of Minnesota. The main goals for this session include:
- Implement regular adjustments to the Competitive Workforce Factor to reduce the wage gap that exists between DSP’s and comparable occupations.
- Continue to refine the Disability Waiver Rate System so it is an accurate reflection of market costs by using most currently available data.
- Study and make recommendations on how the Disability Waiver Rate System can be responsive to the impacts of local and statewide minimum wage increases.
- Establish a tax credit for DSP’s to enhance recruitment and retention of this critical profession.
What can you do?
There are multiple ways to get involved in the legislative process all year round. Whether you are a person with a disability, a loved one, someone who works in disability services or a caring member of the community, below are ways to take your advocacy to the next step!
First, make sure you know who your Minnesota legislators are that represent you, because these are the people who directly impact you and your community, which means they are the best to contact about issues that matter to you! Click the below links to learn more
Make sure you know who represents you. These are the people who will be voting on the legislation that affects you and your community, which means they are the best people to contact about the issues that matter to you!
Emailing, calling, or writing your legislators
Contact your legislators to let them know what is important to you. Maybe you care most about day training and habilitation services, or programs for people who are Deaf, Deaf-Blind and Hard of Hearing. Whatever has had an impact on you, let your legislators know how it has made a difference in your life. If you aren’t sure what to say, you can look at the scripts we have drafted here.
Writing a letter to the editor
Writing a Letter to the Editor to your local newspaper can be a great way to get the rest of your community involved in an issue. You can use the template below to help you if you aren’t sure how to write one. Remember, letters to the editor are best when they’re around 175 words, and it’s important that you personalize it as much as you are comfortable with, by making it clear why this issue matters to you. Read the article Tracy Bird, who is served at Rise Spring Lake Park, submitted to Access Press and had published in June 2019 regarding the importance of staying in touch with your state representatives and having your voice heard.
Links to the submission forms for some newspapers you may have in your community are listed below.
ABC Newspapers (Anoka County)
Sun Focus (Columbia Heights, Fridley, Mounds View and New Brighton)
Sun Post (Brooklyn Park, Brooklyn Center, Robbinsdale, Crystal, New Hope and Golden Valley)
Sun Current (Edina, Richfield, Bloomington and Eden Prairie)
Forest Lake Times
Other letter to the editor submission forms in the area can be found here, under “Online Services.”
Rise hosts opportunities for persons served and their families to stay informed about this year’s legislative session.
- Disability Day at the Capital on March 10, 2020 offers individuals and families the opportunity to make legislative visits and advocate on behalf of our 2020 legislative goals.
Become an Advocacy Volunteer
We are always looking for volunteers who are interested in advocating on behalf of the people we serve. Advocacy volunteers can take on a variety of roles and time commitments can be as much or as little as you’d like. For more information about becoming an advocacy volunteer, contact firstname.lastname@example.org