Senate HHS Finance Bill Includes investments in children, elderly and mental health services

The Senate Health and Human Services Committee, chaired by Senator Tony Lourey passed its supplemental budget bill yesterday, which includes a five percent rate increase for Home and Community-based service (HCBS) and Intermediate Care Facilities for those with Developmental Disabilities (ICF/DD).

Senator Tony Lourey (HHS Finance Bill author)

It’s some much needed relief for people who rely on the state for the care that they need and deserve and the workers who care for them quite frankly, who will be able to lead more productive lives with the relief we have been able to offer.

Senator John Hoffman (DFL-Champlin, Brooklyn Park and Coon Rapids):

The 5% Campaign has put in hundreds, if not thousands of hours fighting for this increase and explaining why it’s necessary. I can’t think of a better use of these funds than to put them toward this hard-working group of Minnesotans who care for our most vulnerable citizens.

Senator Kent Eken (DFL-Twin Valley):

If we truly care about our most vulnerable citizens, than we must ensure those who provide their care are supported. Low wages lead to higher staff turnover, creating more stress, less stability and lower quality care. A 5% increase will help to retain consistent staff, which is crucial to providing the high quality care that every citizen deserves. The better the care, the better the quality of life these citizens can have and lead.

Other highlights from the bill include, new funding for:

  • The Homeless Youth Act ($1 million) – The additional funding will help address this growing problem by coordinating efforts across the state to successfully challenge the causes of youth homelessness.
  • Mental Health Crisis Intervention ($312,000) – The funding will expand access to mobile mental health crisis teams that help identify and treat mental illness early.
  • Adult Mental Health Grants ($1 million) – The funding will provide targeted services for individuals with a serious mental illness through Intensive Community Rehabilitation Services (ICRS).
  • Safe Harbor Law ($1.5 million) – The funding will bring additional community safety, victim rehabilitation programs and protection of vulnerable youth.
Senate DFL Media