In 2014 Minnesota was successful in advocating for, and receiving a 5% increase for Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) to be used for a much-needed increase in direct care staff wages. It was the first increase this group has received since 2008. The increase went into effect July 1, 2014 and has helped reduce staff turnover and improved the lives of tens of thousands of people with disabilities and older Minnesotans.
Even with this rate increase, these services are far behind the pace of inflation. Staff turnover still remains a challenge. Therefore we are once again seeking a 5% rate increase for HCBS in 2015 and 2016. We need to ensure people with disabilities remain a priority, that their services are of high quality and that their caregivers are better compensated.
Last year’s success was due to the citizens advocating diligently for this cause. This year and next, continued success will be dependent on the efforts of these same people. Tommy Nixon, ISO Coordinator, has been hard at work on this campaign and has led the way for Orion Associates’ involvement in this worthy initiative. Nixon says the efforts must continue. “We have to look at the success of last year as an important first step and not a one-time victory.”
Here are the ways you can make a difference.
Option 1: Please print this quick letter template to Governor Dayton and mail it to the address on the bottom of the link.
Option 2: Send a Twitter message with #support5. The 5% Campaign has offered up some talking points you may want to explore include:
- With a projected surplus in Minnesota’s budget, now is the time to ensure that quality community services for people with disabilities and older adults continue to be available, stable, and sustainable.
- While the 5% rate increase in 2014 went a long way to address a crisis, it is important that elected officials continue to make people with disabilities and older adults a priority. Even with the recent increase, rates for HCBS remain far behind the pace of inflation.
- Consistent staff are the foundation for quality care. Without adequate caregiver compensation, staff turnover increases and the quality of care declines.
- HCBS help to keep people out of more costly institutional settings that limit their independence and choice.
Please feel free to personalize your message with your own reasons and story, or with the stories of those with whom you work.
For more information on the 5% campaign or for additional ways you can become involved please visit: