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ARRM is an active member of the Best Life Alliance, formerly known as The 5% Campaign.  Best Life Alliance is a statewide coalition of more than 130 organizations, people with disabilities, families and supporters advocating for Home & Community-Based Services founded in 2014. This coalition was previously known as The 5% Campaign.

Minnesota’s effective Home & Community- Based Services (HCBS) allow people with intellectual and physical disabilities to receive services tailored to meet their needs – whether that means help getting to work or complex 24/7 medical care. These essential services foster skill development, provide job coaching and complex medical care, ensure health and safety, and much more.  They allow people with disabilities to contribute to their communities and stay as active and independent as possible.

Right now the foundation of the system - a strong and stable direct care workforce - is crumbling away. Direct care workers who assist people with disabilities have demanding, highly-skilled, professional jobs and should receive competitive wages.  $12.32/hour is the average wage of HCBS direct care workers in Minnesota, and many earn less.  This pay is directly tied to state reimbursement rates set by lawmakers and that pay has not kept up with rising costs over the past decade. Due to these low wages, more than 8,700 unfilled HCBS caregiver and staff jobs exist in Minnesota today.

Without maintenance, the entire system is at risk.  People with disabilities and providers cannot hire the staff they need. There is a huge strain on overworked direct care staff, and providers struggling to recruit, train, retain and operate with high turnover rates.

In 2016, a majority of Minnesota’s state legislators in both parties co-authored the Best Life Alliance bill to raise direct care worker wages but failed to pass an increase. Now the state’s more than $1 billion budget surplus offers a chance to invest without needing to shift funds or raise revenue.

What’s in Best Life Alliance’s 2017 bill?   SF 669/ HF 873

  • Consecutive 4 percent wage increases for more than 80,000 direct care workers statewide (effective July 1, 2017 and July 1, 2018).
  • Development of a long-term solution for funding health insurance for direct care workers by July 1, 2019.

We invite you to join Best Life Alliance to increase wages for direct care workers who support people more than 73,000 people with disabilities across Minnesota.  

Learn how you can get involved

View our 2017 bill co-authors

Download Resources about The Best Life Alliance

2017 Best Life Alliance Fact Sheet and Messages
Meet Minnesota's DSPs

Election and Voter Resources
Telling Your Story: Messages for Self-Advocates, Family Members and Staff
2017 Infographic


Learn More About the Best Life Alliance
Ways to get Involved
View News & Media Coverage 



    

My Sisters Matter Sign

For more information:

Grassroots and Legislative Questions:
Drew Henry, 
Director of Member Communications, ARRM
dhenry@arrm.org
651-291-1086, ext. 4

Media Inquiries
Julie Peters,
Communications Director, Opportunity Partners
jpeters@opportunities.org
Office: 952-930-4208
Cell: 952-451-7527

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