Public Policy

Advocating for stronger disability services

ARRM works to ensure Minnesota's public policy and regulatory environment promotes the independence, health and safety of people with disabilities and strengthens our members' ability to support them. We achieve this by identifying policies that will create positive changes to our disability services system and help achieve the goals and ideals laid out in guiding principles such as the Minnesota Olmstead Plan, working with legislators and supporting coalitions to pass these policies at the state and federal level. Several ARRM member-committees shape the organization's policy platform and revisit it on an annual basis.

Download the 2017 ARRM Legislative Agenda handout

2017 Priorities

Support professional wages for a professional workforce (SF 669/ HF 873)

Nearly 100,000 people work as Direct Support Professionals in Minnesota at an average wage of less than $12 an hour. Wages for these professionals are almost entirely influenced by the reimbursement rates for services set by the state. The amazing staff who support people with disabilities deserve so much better. ARRM supports a significant wage increase to benefit staff providing care in group homes, a person's own home and daytime/employment programs.

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Policy reform (SF 359/ HF 696)

ARRM’s 2017 Policy Bill, while costing the state no new dollars, will help give solutions to providers as they work to provide innovative, person-centered services to individuals living in the community. This bill seeks to create efficiencies and streamline regulatory practices while supporting family, friendships and independent living, including:

  • Support family and friendships
  • Promote independent living
  • Streamline background checks
  • Improve training and quality and efficiency
  • Enhance technology use

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Stabilize Disability Waiver Rate System (DWRS) impacts (SF 727/ HF 814)

Unfunded mandates and dramatic swings in reimbursement rates are crushing organizations that have little to no ability to adjust revenue to meet increasing costs imposed by the government and economic conditions. This has created an environment of extreme business uncertainty, putting critical services in numerous communities at risk. ARRM seeks to stabilize conditions for providers by implementing previously established long-term inflation adjustments and
eliminating unfunded mandates now and in the future, including:

  • Distribute BLS rate adjustments
  • Reform unit based service reimbursement
  • Address unfunded mandates put on providers
  • Minimize drastic rate changes
  • Adjust RN and LPN wages with BLS
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Support a full spectrum of care (SF 996/ HF 921)

Outdated laws written to address problems that no longer exist are creating new problems for Intermediate Care Facilities for people with intellectual disabilities (ICF/ID), an important part of Minnesota’s support spectrum for people with more significant care needs. Policy from the 1980s to disincentive over-development of ICF/ID programs now penalizes programs with unfilled resident openings who want to help residents go on therapeutic leave, particularly in Greater Minnesota. ARRM seeks to ensure ICF/ID viability and promote therapeutic leave for residents.


 

Questions?
Sara Grafstrom
Director of Government Relations and Member Advocacy 
sgrafstrom@arrm.org
651-291-1086 x. 8