State legislators tell us they are not hearing from constituents about the Personal Care Assistant (PCA) staff shortage. Please write and talk to them when they are home over break (March 30th through April 8th).
In your own words, tell lawmakers about yourself or people you know who live at home and need 10 or more hours of PCA services per day. Let them know how difficult it is to find and retain competent PCAs, particularly for those with high care needs. Remember to keep stories short and be respectful. Ask them to let you know where they stand on this issue and be sure to include your name and address, so they know you live in their district.
Our bill (SF 393/HF 481) addresses the PCA shortage by providing an enhanced rate to PCAs serving people who live at home and need 10 or more hours of care per day. The enhanced rate would be 10% higher than the regular PCA rate. This would help about 3,000 people with disabilities with the highest level of needs. That represents about 10% of the over 30,000 people who receive PCA services. We know all levels of PCA care need an increase, but the 10 or more hour per day level staff crisis is causing people to lose their homes, their independence, and in some cases, their lives!
Some legislators mistakenly believe that legislation for the Disability Waiver Rate System (DWRS) will address the PCA crisis. PCA services are not a part of that system, so separate legislation is required. This flyer (PDF) provides additional details about PCA Enhanced Rate legislation.
To find the names and addresses of your state legislators, use the “District Finder” on the Minnesota Legislature’s website. Click on the link and type in your address. The first two people on the list should be your Minnesota State House Representative and Minnesota State Senator.
In addition, please contact the Chairs of the Health and Human Services Finance Committees and leaders in the Minnesota House and Senate:
- Senator Jim Abeler: email@example.com
- Senator Paul Gazelka: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Representative Matt Dean: email@example.com
- Representative Kurt Daudt: firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: We do not need to contact our U.S. Senators or Representatives (in other words, not Amy Klobuchar, Tina Smith, Erik Paulsen, etc.). Our bill is going through the State legislative process, not through Congress.
Ask Minnesota State Senators to support the Enhanced Rate for PCAs bill, Senate File (SF) 393.
Ask Minnesota State Representatives to support the Enhanced Rate for PCAs bill, House File (HF) 481.
If you have any questions about this, please feel free to contact Jeff Bangsberg at email@example.com.
Thank you for your help!