LegislativeLegislative summary and current priorities

Minnesota Organization for Habilitation & Rehabilitation (MOHR) 2018 Government Affairs Committee Workplan

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 Disability Services Workforce Shortage. Direct Support Professionals are the most critical element of providing quality and effective 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.

Support Employment Services Provided through Minnesota’s Department of Employment and Economic Development. Minnesota’s DEED provides critical employment support services for Minnesotans with disabilities, including Extended Employment programs as part of Vocational Rehabilitation Services. MOHR will work to support and expand access to these high-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.

Ensure Stability of Infrastructure of Employment & Day Supports for Individuals. As Minnesota continues to move forward with implementation of a new statewide rate setting system for waiver services, we must preserve the quality and integrity of the existing infrastructure of employment and day supports for individuals with disabilities throughout the state. MOHR will work to promote initiatives that aim to further strengthen the Disability Waiver Rate Setting system such that this system better supports the employment and day support goals of Minnesotans with disabilities.

Strengthen New Community Employment Support Options. The establishment of three new Community Employment Support service options serves as an opportunity for Minnesota to continue to broaden and strengthen our system of disability employment support services. However to reach their full potential, these new services will need to be implemented with sustainable and realistic rates as well as clear definitions for the services themselves and necessary related systematic changes. Safeguards should be in place to successfully support individuals in reaching their own employment goals during the transition phase, and the stability of the current service system should be protected while these new service options become available. MOHR will work to ensure these important factors are incorporated into the implementation process for these new services.

Monitor Other Issues 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.