2017 Legislative Agenda
MOHR believes that individuals with disabilities should have access to effective and high quality employment and day services of their choice. Accordingly MOHR supports and will actively work for the following initiatives:
Address the Workforce Shortage. Direct care workers are critical to providing quality and effective services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and are vital to achieving the goals of the Olmstead Plan and the HCBS Settings Rule. Currently, a critical shortage of direct care workers and a high staff turnover rate exists in community based disability services across the state. It is essential to advance targeted funding for direct care worker wages and health care benefits to hire and maintain highly trained and high quality direct care workers.
Support Extended Employment Services. The Extended Employment system must be supported and expanded to provide high quality employment services and supports to individuals with disabilities by making the temporary 2016 $1 million funding increase permanent, promoting an annual growth factor for extended employment rates, and allocating new funds to cover the future cost of WIOA compliance.
Ensure Employment & Day Services Sustainability. As Minnesota continues to move forward with a statewide rate setting system for waiver services, the system must preserve the quality and integrity of the existing infrastructure of employment and day supports and services for individuals with disabilities throughout the state. The system must also promote the development of new services that best serve individuals according to their own choices and needs. Specifically, MOHR will promote DWRS initiatives that:
- Preserve the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and Consumer Price Index (CPI) adjustments in current law, work to ensure that the adjustments are implemented as intended, increase the frequency of the adjustments in the future, and, seek positive results from the adjustments before banding ends;
- Protect the infrastructure of employment & day services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities by adjusting the rates for various staffing ratios, modifying the utilization factor to reflect the business realities of employment & day services, and expanding the current methodology for transportation services to all day services;
- Provide protections for individuals whose RMS rates are substantially lower than their historical rate and therefore may experience limitations in accessing employment & day services by requiring certain individuals with rates decreasing by 5% or greater to have their RMS rates reviewed and/or adjusted to minimize the impact on service access; and
- Strengthen new Community Employment Support options by establishing sustainable rate framework components, establishing clear definitions, and allocating new resources to promote community employment opportunities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Other Issues Impacting Individuals with Disabilities. From time-to-time issues arise that impact individuals with disabilities in Minnesota. MOHR will actively monitor and work on these issues to promote employment and day services and access to these services for all Minnesotans with disabilities