Legislative Information Update: 

YOU MADE A DIFFERENCE! Last month, the MN Senate voted to approve new language and modifications to the “Task Force to Eliminate Subminimum Wage Law” that was slipped into the MN Health and Human Services Omnibus budget bill during the July, 2021 Special Session. The amendment language passed by the Senate in Feb. of 2022 shifts the funding and focus of the taskforce toward increasing and improving Employment Choice, rather than eliminating special minimum wages. Now we need your help in getting the 2022 legislation, HF3447 and HF4071, passed through the House of Representatives! Please read the Action Alert information!

 A-Team MN Supports the following bills:

2022 “Employment Choice” bill  HF3447

2022 Amended “Subminimum Wage Task Force” bill  HF4071

This amendment language is currently pending as a part of the budget bill.

 A-Team Minnesota is deeply concerned about the original July 2021 “Task Force to Eliminate Subminimum Wages” law because:

  • This action was taken without families and people with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities (I/DD) having the opportunity to testify to legislators about why protecting the special minimum wage option and honoring their informed choice is important to their quality of life.
  • The proposed taskforce membership to facilitate transition does not include advocacy groups or family members that truly represent the people with I/DD who will be most directly affected by this action.
  • The impacts of this action, which include great potential for closure of center based work options, will limit, rather than expand choices for people with I/DD.
  • The proposed “study” already has a predetermined goal and outcome: to eliminate “subminimum” wages by August 1, 2025. With a biased taskforce in place, the results are unlikely to represent the people who will be most affected by this action.
  • The original bill, HF33, was not voted upon in the House and had  never been sent to the Senate or to a committee. This bill was passed without hearing from the people who will be most affected by it.

If you are interested, here is a link to the text of the original law: HF 33, Article 17, Section 14 (Scroll down to 492.6 on the left side of your screen to find the correct section)

Original 2021 “Task Force to Eliminate Subminimum Wages Law  HF33/SF37

What can you do?

ACTION ALERT!!!  Help protect your loved one’s right to choose the work they want!        Urgentcontact your local Representatives as soon as possible to influence changes to the omnibus budget bill.  Also contact Committee Chair, Rep. Jennifer Schultz (see “Who Represents Me?” below)  It will take 5-10 minutes to do so!

  • Ask them to support HF3447 – Employment Choice First Task Force Bill and  HF 4071 –  Subminimum Wage Task Force membership and duties modified (Senate Language)
  • Briefly describe the importance of 14(c) work and center-based choices for your loved one and how the loss of this option will affect him or her.
  • Briefly describe how the proposed legislation will refocus the purpose of the task force to provide a comprehensive examination of  all available work options for people with I/DD and will promote independence and increased opportunities for people with I/DD to earn competitive wages.
  • Tell how the new language will also add members to the task force who will represent the people most affected by elimination of special wages and center-based work choices.
  • Remind them to honor the Informed Choice of your loved one.

 Feel free to edit and use the sample letter below to help get started.

A-Team Minnesota has worked hard to  advocate for the preservation of a full array of employment options for people with I/DD. Please be aware that ARC MN, Autism Society of MN, and MN Disability Law Center are promoting ELIMINATION of employment choices instead of representing the choices of our most vulnerable loved ones. 

Not sure how to start?  Use and edit the sample letter below!

Sample Letter to support HF 3447 & 4071 

Click the link below to see a pdf of the MOHR April, 2022 action alert!

2022 MOHR DSP Action Alert  PDF

Contact Your Lawmakers!

 The single most important  thing you can do is let your lawmakers know how you feel and why the effects of these bills are personally important to you. EVERY VOICE COUNTS!                         

Hard copy letters and phone calls are particularly effective.  Emails help too, but can sometimes get directed to the wrong category and you might receive a form letter in response that is unrelated to the issue.     

Be sure to include your name, address, and contact information along with the name of your loved one with a disability if you are contacting on someone else’s behalf. Lawmakers are elected to represent people in their own districts.    

However, it is also helpful to send letters to committee members who are actively working on these bills, even if you do not live in their district. Hard copy letters work best for this.     

Click the report below to learn more about the 14c Special Wage Provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act:                            

Report on 14c (MNFAC)

 

Please consider joining A-Team Minnesota to join forces with other families and individuals in our grassroots effort to protect and expand the disability service options for people with all levels of ability! Every voice makes a difference!

LEARN MORE ABOUT US

You can help  Please share this information with others you know who will be affected. It is important that our lawmakers hear from their constituents about how eliminating special minimum wages and center based vocational options will affect people with I/DD. Click the testimonies below to help shape your own advocacy letters. Join our monthly meetings to learn how to reach out to your lawmakers!

Hearing Testimony 9-8-2021

Hearing Testimony (2) 9-8-2021

Hearing Testimony  10-6-2021C