Visit With Elected Officials - March 29, 2014

ConnectWC provides legislative forums to build respectful and sustainable relationships between parents, advocates and self advocates with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and their elected officials for the purpose of promoting effective policy for, by, and with people with I/DD.

On Saturday, March 29, 2014, ConnectWC in partnership with The Arc Greater Twin Cities hosted A Visit With Your Elected Officials event at Family Means in Stillwater, Minnesota, to educate our legislators about disability issues. Elected officials invited to attend included: Senator Chuck Wiger, Representative Peter Fisher, Senator Susan Kent, Representative Andrea Kieffer, Representative JoAnn Ward, Senator Karin Housely, Representative Bob Dettmer and Representative Kathy Lohmer.

We want to thank Senator Chuck Wiger, Representative Peter Fisher and Representative Bob Dettmer for dedicating time to our event while they were in the middle of a busy legislative session. These elected officials, parents and self advocates came together to discuss things that are working and are not working for individuals with I/DD in Washington County and The Arc Minnesota's 2014 legislative priorities including:

The 5% Campaign

• Enact legislation to increase funding by 5% for services that help people with disabilities and older Minnesotans live in and contribute to their communities.

Improving the Quality of Services and Supports

• Pass legislation to fund state efforts that will help ensure that the services that support people with disabilities are of the highest possible quality and are meeting individual needs.

Safe Schools for All Students

• Enact the Safe and Supportive Minnesota Schools Act to help prevent bullying of students with intellectual and developmental disabilities and deal with bullying incidents that do occur.

Improving Access to Medical Assistance

• Pass legislation that raises the income and asset limits for people with disabilities and older Minnesotans so they qualify for medical care under Medical Assistance without having to impoverish themselves.

To continue to foster and develop positive relationships and connection to our elective officials, ConnectWC and The Arc Greater Twin Cities will be hosting a follow-up legislative meeting later in 2014 to review the 2014 legislative session and discuss the policies that became law and how they may help or hinder people living with disabilities and their families in Washington County.

Want to learn more?  Stay up-to-date by following The Arc Minnesota's Capitol Focus Blog written by Steve Larson, Senior Policy Director.  The Minnesota Consortium for Citizens With Disabilities addresses public policy issues that affect people with disabilities by collaborating, advocating, educating and influencing change.