­

Disappointing End to Legislative Session

2016 Legislative Session ended at 12:00 a.m., May 23rd, and many pieces of legislation were not passed.  This included the legislation for a 5% provider rate increase for which the Best Life Alliance had been advocating. The Best Life Alliance [...]

The Latest on Making ABLE Accounts Available

The Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act, the federal law approved by Congress and President Obama in December 2014, still awaits action by individual states before individuals and families can set up their own ABLE accounts.  These accounts would [...]

Reminders That Public Policy Touches Lives

What did you do this past weekend?  I spent my Saturday staffing a table at the Down Syndrome Association of Minnesota (DSAM) Regional Conference.  I don’t normally spend my Saturdays working, and it was a nice day outside -- one [...]

A Fresh Set of Eyes on the Legislative Process

To be frank, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from the Day at the Capitol.  I had never been to an event like this before—in fact I hadn’t even been inside a state building. I was (and certainly still [...]

Committee Deadline Means Critical Time for 5%

Thursday is the next committee deadline at the Minnesota State Capitol.  All bills need to pass the Finance Committee in the Senate and the Ways and Means Committee in the House. On Friday, April 15th, the Minnesota House Health and [...]

From Across Minnesota, You Made an Impact

Our Advocacy Day at the Capitol on Tuesday, April 5th, was a big success, thanks to the contributions of many.  Throughout the day, I was constantly reminded of the different and crucial roles that so many of you played. We [...]

A Missed Opportunity

In his supplemental budget the Governor missed an opportunity to expand employment for persons with disabilities.  Minnesota Department of Human Services had asked Governor Dayton to add three waiver amendments in his budget to create: Employment Exploration Services (EES) – [...]

Come to St. Paul; Help Create Better Lives

Tomorrow, March 15th, be one of hundreds of other Minnesotans who will come together to create better lives for people with disabilities. The Best Life Alliance will hold its rally at the State Armory (600 Cedar Street in St. Paul) [...]

Creativity, Persistence Reduce Parental Fees

This year we are challenged with trying to lower parental fees for the fourth year in a row.  Parental fees are paid by families to the state of Minnesota so their child with disabilities can receive supports through Medical Assistance [...]

Caucus and Advocate for Higher Direct Care Staff Wages

The news from the previous four days reinforced the need to intensify our advocacy work this session.  Friday’s state budget forecast, which we reported in the latest Public Policy Update, means  there will be stiff competition among many advocacy groups [...]