Minnesota Council on Disability Budget
With the decrease in state revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing economic crisis, the Minnesota state government faces a potential budget deficit of $1.27 billion for fiscal year FY22-23. The state legislature may call for across the board cuts to state agency budgets to close the budget gap. MCD is operating on a small budget already; it will be critical to watch for potential reductions in the MCD budget and work with legislators to preserve, if not expand, the budget of the Minnesota Council on Disability.
Interagency Budgets and Disability Services
In addition to preserving the MCD budget, MCD legislative priorities also include maintaining the budgets of other state agencies and programs that serve the disability community.
Interactive Process Amendment – Minnesota Human Rights Act
The Minnesota Human Rights Act (MN HRA) needs to be updated to align with the ADA, particularly regarding the Interactive Process that requires employers to work with a person with a disability seeking workplace accommodations. Updating the MN HRA to include the Interactive Process would allow state-level agencies like the Minnesota Department of Human Rights to enforce and defend the law, giving the disability community additional legal avenues should they experience a workplace violation of the interactive process.
Personal Care Assistant (PCA) Driving Bill
Expands the definition of billable hours for PCAs to include time driving their clients to appointments and errands.
Out-of-Network Coverage for Diagnosis and Treatment of Rare Diseases
Under most Minnesota-based health insurance policies, Minnesotans with rare diseases must first see doctors and specialists within their insurance network before being referred to see an out-of-network specialist. Due to the nature of rare diseases, few doctors may be aware of the disease, much less able to treat the condition. Updating Minnesota law to require health insurance plans to allow people with rare diseases to see specialists directly regardless if they are in-network or not would save time and reduce the financial burden on the person with the rare disease.
Rare Disease Advisory Council Amendment
The Rare Disease Advisory Council (RDAC) was established by state law in 2019 and facilitated by the University of Minnesota. The amendment would move the RDAC from being a state-funded council facilitated by the University of Minnesota to operating as a state agency, allowing the council to take policy positions and utilize the state interagency network (including MCD) to further its policy goals.
New or Evolving Policies and/or Legislation Regarding Disability Community
In addition to the legislative priorities above, MCD will monitor and respond to any legislation or policy that affects the disability community and the organizations that support it.