Legislative Information Update: 

We are very disappointed to inform you that provisions to establish a taskforce with the goal of eliminating special minimum wages (as defined by Section 14c of the Fair labor Standards Act) by August 1, 2025 were quietly added to the Minnesota Health and Human Services Omnibus budget bill during the July, 2021 Special Session. The original bill, HF439, was not voted upon in the House and had  never been sent to the Senate or to a committee.

 A-Team Minnesota is deeply concerned about this legislation because:

  • This action was taken without families and people with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities (I/DD) having the opportunity to testify to legislators 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 vocational options, will limit, rather than expand choices for people with disabilities.
  • The proposed “study” already has a predetermined goal and outcome. With a biased taskforce in place, the results are unlikely to represent the people who will be most affected by this action.

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

https://www.revisor.mn.gov/bills/text.php?number=HF33&type=bill&version=2&session=ls92&session_year=2021&session_number=1

 

What can you do?

At this time, A-Team Minnesota is involved in a newly formed workgroup that is attempting to amend the task force bill to include advocates and individuals who will be most affected by elimination of special wages. They would also like to change the language of the bill toward study of potential outcomes, rather than a predetermined, unsubstantiated goal. 

You can help preserve a full array of vocational options for people with I/DD. 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.

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

Hearing Testimony 9-8-2021

Hearing Testimony (2) 9-8-2021

Hearing Testimony  10-6-2021

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 disabled loved one 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 they are not in your district. Hard copy letters work best for this.     

Not sure how to start?   Click this box for to see a sample letter!     https://ateamminnesota.com/sample-letter-to-lawmakers-and-agencies/           

Click this box to learn more about the 14c Special Wage Provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act and why it is so important.    https://img1.wsimg.com/blobby/go/ee900f84-8601-4a4d-9440-ba4c325a0ac2/downloads/MNFAC%20Report%2019%20January%202021.pdf?ver=1611167472164