The federal government notified Minnesota last year that it would not help fund rate increases to providers of services for people with disabilities. As a result, the Department of Human Services stopped paying the rate increases and providers experienced a 7% cut. The Legislature originally passed these increases to help providers pay their staff better wages and ensure people with disabilities get quality care. Lawmakers stepped in last session to reverse the cut, but Republicans included the fix in their 990-page supplemental budget bill that was vetoed by the governor.
Legislators and advocates are trying again this year with new legislation to reverse cut. Two proposals were heard in the Human Services Reform Committee on Thursday that take different approaches to restoring the funding based on total cost. Both bills had to be laid over until lawmakers have more information when the state’s budget picture becomes clear in February. (SF6, SF92)