Do you live in Minnesota and have a story to tell about how underfunded public services holds you and your family back? Do you work at an organization that works in partnership with government and want to share your perspective? Add your story to the discussion!
Why share? Minnesota policymakers are making decisions that will affect all of us. We have the power to influence those decisions by advocating for our needs and priorities.
With rising income inequality and some of the worst racial disparities in the nation, Minnesota is long overdue for real, substantial change. It is up to us to call on our policymakers to make bold decisions that respond to the ongoing health and economic impact of the pandemic, and make real progress toward a stronger, more equitable recovery.
One powerful way to do that is by lifting up the experiences of everyday Minnesotans – you! Your voice can support strong, thoughtful policies to build a better future: use it!
Arc Northland fully supports higher wages and benefits proposed by the Collective Bargaining Unit for hard-working PCAs, however, we need to ensure that the reimbursement rate for providers adequately funds these increases. As a PCA Choice agency, Arc Northland is still struggling from the inadequate reimbursement rate from two years ago, when the PCA wage went up by $1.25 but the reimbursement rate only was increased by 40 cents. If once again the proposed rate does not support the wage requirements, we will be forced to have a difficult conversation with our Board of Directors about the feasibility of continuing the PCA Choice Service. This would be devastating to the 200+ people with disabilities and their families who depend on Arc Northland to provide this service. It is our hope to continue to engage with the Legislature and the Department of Human Services on how the funding that is coming from the American Recovery Act could help us in the short term, until the PCA Rate Framework is implemented in January of 2023. PCA’s do important work and they deserve a decent wage, but if the reimbursement is not adequate, no one wins, because the jobs they currently hold will be unsustainable and the people being served will be left little to no options, other than nursing homes. That is not what people want and will cost the state substantially more funding than a rate adjustment for PCA wages. Help us, help people receive the services they need to stay in their own homes and keep all the valuable PCA’s employed. Thank you! Laurie Berner, Executive Director
The MN Coalition for the Homeless works toward ending homelessness in Minnesota. However, with a state budget that has historically been scarce on resources toward addressing housing and homelessness, advocates are forced to work against each other for small pieces of the state budget. We need intentional investment to address the massive disparities in housing opportunities in Minnesota, and the only way to do that is to have a budget that is more equitable where wealthy Minnesotans pay their fair share. We support Together We Rise to make this reality possible.
The COVID-19 pandemic laid bare the issue of hunger as a national crisis. How would millions of people afford groceries following unexpected job losses ? How would children access free school meals when buildings were closed? Where would our seniors get nutrition when senior transportation and meal services paused? This crisis prompted the federal and Minnesota governments to embrace flexibility, innovation, and necessary investments to meet the moment for addressing hunger. We saw unprecedented innovations and investments in emergency cash stimulus aid, SNAP benefits, food shelf funding, and school meals. As we move through the pandemic, the recovery has been uneven. Not every Minnesotan has been able to return to pre-COVID work schedules or in-person learning. As SNAP supplements and free school meals end, many Minnesota families will experience a cliff in their food security. We are asking state and federal lawmakers to consider the food security needs of families, children, seniors, and people with disabilities. Emergency SNAP benefits, free school meals, and monthly child tax credits should be made permanent. We can cut child poverty and hunger in half or more by retaining these investments.