ST. PAUL, Minn. – Each year The Arc Minnesota awards its ‘Legislator of the Year Award’ to a legislator who worked particularly hard to promote and protect the rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Sen. John Hoffman (DFL-Champlin) is thrilled to announce he has been selected as Arc’s Legislator of the Year for 2015.
“To receive this award from Arc is truly an honor. Arc has been advocating for people with disabilities and their families for the past six decades. They have also taken an active lead in advocating for public policies that benefit people with disabilities and their families. I’ve made working on these same policies a priority during my time in the Senate and I want to thank them for recognizing this important work,” said Sen. Hoffman.
This past legislative session Sen. Hoffman worked hard on several issues that related to improving the lives of those with disabilities. That work included:
• Passage of the ABLE Act (Achieving a Better Life): This bill allows families with children with disabilities, and individuals with disabilities to set up tax-advantaged accounts similar to the 529 higher education accounts. These savings accounts can help the person with a disability work towards gaining more independence.
• Health and Human Services omnibus bill: This legislation addresses increasing the Medical Assistance MA income eligibility limit, the asset limits and the spend down for people with disabilities and the elderly. This bill brings equity to people with disabilities and seniors who need Medical Assistance, by increasing the income and asset limits for eligibility consistent with other MA eligible groups.
• Spinal Cord Injury and Traumatic Brain Injury Research Grant Program: This bill established a grant program for Minnesota institutions for research into spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries – which could help the more than 118,000 Minnesotans living with these kinds of injuries.
Sen. Hoffman will be presented his award at Arc’s annual awards banquet on Friday, Oct. 23. The Arc Minnesota is a private, non-profit, statewide voluntary organization. Arc’s mission is to promote and protect the human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and actively support their full inclusion and participation in the community throughout their lifetimes.