LegislativeLegislative summary and current priorities

Minnesota Organization for Habilitation & Rehabilitation (MOHR) 2019/20 Government Affairs Committee Workplan

MOHR believes that Minnesotans with disabilities living in every part of the state should have access to high-quality employment and other day services.

Accordingly, MOHR supports and will actively work for the following initiatives:

Addressing the Disability Services Workforce Shortage- Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) are the most critical element of providing high-quality services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. They are vital to achieving the shared goal of supporting Minnesotans with disabilities to live their best lives, as well as to meeting the specific objectives of Minnesota’s Olmstead Plan and the Federal Government’s Home and Community Based Services Settings Rule. Currently, the critical shortage of Direct Support Professionals in disability services across the state has created an unsustainable situation of significant staff vacancies and high staff turnover which directly impacts the health, safety and quality of life of individuals with disabilities. MOHR will work to advance targeted funding and policy reforms aimed at increasing the availability of high quality direct care workers for community-based disability services.

Strengthening Employment Services Provided through Minnesota’s Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED)- Minnesota’s DEED provides critical employment support services for Minnesotans with disabilities, including Extended Employment programs as part of Vocational Rehabilitation Services, as well as many other supports. MOHR will work to support and expand access to these quality employment services and supports by addressing current and long-term funding sustainability issues for these services as well as policy changes that strengthen access to these services.

Advancing Continued Needed Reforms to the Disability Waiver Rate System- As Minnesota continues to move forward with implementation of the Disability Waiver Rate System (the new statewide rate setting system for waiver services), we must do so in a way that further strengthens the Disability Waiver Rate System such that this payment system better supports the employment and life enrichment goals of Minnesotans with disabilities. MOHR will continue to promote changes in line with this outcome.

Shaping the Continued Redesign of Employment and other Day Services- With the recent establishment of three new Community Employment Support service options and the planned implementation of the new Day Supports service, Minnesota has an opportunity to continue to broaden and strengthen our system of disability employment and other day support services. However for this redesign to be successful, these new services and those already in existence will need ongoing sustainable rates reflecting the true cost of providing the service, as well as clear definitions and processes for the services themselves. MOHR will continue to work to monitor and support the implementation and ongoing availability of the new services.

Developing a New Rate Setting System for Transportation Services- DHS has stated their intention to implement a new rate setting formula for most Waiver Transportation services (with the exception of DTH full day/daily where transportation rates are built into the overall rate). Having a rate setting tool that produces ongoing sustainable rates reflecting the true costs of providing the transportation associated with the employment and day services an individual chooses is critical to the success of all our employment and day services. MOHR will continue to work closely with DHS in an effort to ensure the new rates for transportation are sustainable and reflect true costs.

Monitoring Other Legislative Issues that Arise Impacting Individuals with Disabilities- From time-to-time legislative 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