Saint Paul, Minn.– Minnesota Senators, led by Senator Jim Abeler (R-Anoka), and Senator John Hoffman (DFL – Champlin), submitted a letter today to Governor Walz asking him to provide relief to disability service providers who have been closed since March due to the Governor’s Executive Orders. A request was also made to provide temporary financial support to historically underpaid Personal Care Assistance (PCA) providers who have not been recognized as front-line workers but who have continued to serve vulnerable Minnesotans throughout the pandemic.
The letter states: “Service providers who are unable to open have seen significant financial shortfalls. Without swift action, we will see many temporary closures become permanent closures for many providers across our state. We know that these services offer emotional and social supports that greatly contribute to a high quality of life for Minnesotans with disabilities. If more providers close their doors for good, Minnesotans with disabilities will have to bear the burden.”
“The vital work of community-based service providers and PCAs is priceless,” said Senator Abeler. “Minnesotans rely on their care, their support, and their commitment to guaranteeing everyone has access to a good and meaningful life. We will not take them for granted or neglect to recognize the significance of their work. I hope Governor Walz will take this letter to heart and act to ensure the fight against the pandemic does not disproportionately effect the vulnerable or those who serve them faithfully.”
Senator Hoffman adds: “Before we had PCA’s and Disability Services, our people with disabilities were left at home and placed in group homes with no opportunity to interact with the wonderful world around us. Over the years we have committed to access for all Minnesotans and have built services that bring that opportunity to life, recognizing the right of all Minnesotans to interact with and be a part of our communities. To not act to protect these services risks us as a state saying we do not recognize that right and our vulnerable populations will suffer for it. We need to increase support to our PCA’s and backdate to the shutdown and limited operation of Disability Service Providers.”