September 14, 2023 at Achieve Services, Blaine MN
Minnesota State Senator John Hoffman, District 34, DFL, and chairman of the Senate Human Services Committee was presented the All-Star Champion for Choice award from the A-Team Minnesota.
This award recognized his remarkable support and leadership to maintain and improve the choices in services for people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.
During the 2022-2023 Legislative session, bills were proposed in both the House and Senate, to eliminate the utilization of the 14(c) provision in the Fair Labor and Standards Act.
This provision allows certified employers to pay wages to people with IDD commensurate with their productivity. Particularly for people with significant levels of disability, the 14(c) provision is vital to sustainable employment.
In both the House and Senate Human Services committee hearings, there were significant testimonies given by both proponents and opponents.
A-Team Minnesota spent a significant amount of time getting people to testify in hearings opposing the elimination of 14(c). A-Team Minnesota also met with several legislators to educate and get support for maintaining this vital choice, including Senator Hoffman.
A-Team Minnesota was particularly impressed with Senator Hoffman’s support, especially since ARC Minnesota, the Department of Human Services, the Governor, Minnesota Disability Law Center, and other prominent organizations were supporting the elimination of 14(c) in Minnesota.
Senator Hoffman feels that the Informed Choice principle is fundamental in sustaining the availability of 14(c) in Minnesota. The two Human Services committees had to convene late in the session to consolidate and offer one omnibus bill, and Senator Hoffman was successful in keeping the elimination language out of the final omnibus bill.
Congratulations to Senator Hoffman!