ST. PAUL, MINN. – Good news was made this week in the Senate’s Health and Human Services (HHS) omnibus finance bill with the announcement that the 5% Campaign will be fully funded – pending a vote on the House and Senate floors. The funding amounts to $80.2 million in FY 2015 and $192.7 million FY16-17 (This is an increase from the 4 percent initially set aside by the House and Governor). Part of the increase requires that providers across the state spend 80 percent of the increase on compensation-related costs. Senator John Hoffman (DFL-Champlin, Brooklyn Park and Coon Rapids) has championed the issue for more than a year and is celebrating the announcement.
“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,” said Sen. Hoffman.
The 5% Campaign provides for a rate increase for the 90,000 home and community based caregivers across Minnesota. These important but low-wage workers have not had a pay increase in six years and won’t receive one unless the legislature allocates it to them. Providers say consistent staff with low turnover is the foundation for quality care. By giving home and community-based caregivers a 5 percent waiver increase, service providers will be able to better retain staff, reduce turnover and maintain consistent high quality care
“The next step is to pass this bill on the Senate floor and keep the 5 percent in through conference committee with the House. I am very optimistic the Governor will sign onto this needed 5 percent raise,” said Sen. Hoffman.
The HHS finance bill isn’t just good news for the 5% Campaign; it also includes allocations for homeless youth programs, more money for the Safe Harbor law to help protect vulnerable youth, and an Adult Mental Health Grant program that provides targeted services for people with a serious mental illness.
Sen. Hoffman welcomes additional questions or comments; you can contact him at Sen.John.Hoffman@senate.mn or by calling his office at (651) 296-4154.