Senator John Hoffman responds to November Budget Forecast with plea to restore cuts to disability services

SAINT PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) today announced a budgetary balance of $1.544 billion in the new biennium and $456 million in the following biennium. MMB experts warn economic growth will start to slow in the years ahead.

Sen. Hoffman released the following statement:

“A $1.544 million budgetary balance is great news for our state. It demonstrates that Minnesota’s economy is stable and enjoys modest growth. However, budget officials are predicting significant economic volatilely in the future, which is nothing to take lightly. I strongly urge my colleagues to pass a fiscally responsible budget with prudent investments — such as restoring the 7 percent cut to disability services — along with smart savings.

As a co-author of the legislation to prevent the devastating 7 percent cut to rates paid through the state’s Medicaid Waiver program, I was disappointed the bill to restore these cuts was vetoed. This cut has already begun to disrupt the lives of thousands of vulnerable Minnesotans who depend on state services such as transportation and personal caregiving to help people live more independently in our communities.

Additionally, the cut came at a time when a wide range of disability service providers, including group homes, personal care agencies and day activity centers are feeling the strains of a critical workforce shortage. Failure to restore the funding will make it more difficult for providers to keep pace with rising wages and could force providers to reduce their service offerings. I see restoring this cut as a prudent investment that will benefit people who need it most.”

MMB will release a revised budget forecast for the new biennium in February 2019. The Governor uses the February forecast as a final point of reference to propose a new two-year state budget for lawmakers to consider.

Senator John Hoffman
John Hoffman represents District 36, which includes portions of Anoka and Hennepin County.

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