The legislative session starts this week and the state has $17.6. Biron budget surplus. This is a great opportunity to help those most in need by improving services that make their lives easier.
Yes, many groups will ask for money, but people with disabilities and the disability services and accessibility enhancements they need should be prioritized for significant funding.
In recent years, especially since the pandemic began in 2020, residents with disabilities and their advocates have called for Congress to approve more funding for needed services that affect so many. have longed for
Greatest need: Increase funding for personal care assistants. daytime rehabilitation centers; metromobility; group and nursing home staffing; accessible living; additional recreational possibilities for children and adults with various disabilities;
I am sure there are many more categories that could and should be considered, and now that the session has begun, MPs will be contacted by several disability groups.
Not to be overlooked is a $10 million request from Minneapolis to improve accessibility and add financial support to the city’s Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) transition plan. This much-needed plan is beneficial to the entire community as it directs the remaining obsolete curb cut upgrades. Add accessible intersection signals. Ensure all public buildings are ADA compliant and have other important amendments in place. For all residents with disabilities, we hope that this request will be approved so that the City can continue to improve the ADA and make it more inclusive.
And what applies to Minneapolis applies everywhere. Congress needs to help cities across the state make life easier for all people with disabilities.
With so much to do during this year’s legislative session, it’s time to put together a comprehensive package that will help and improve the lives of people with disabilities and their advocacy groups in Minnesota. Can’t wait any longer. No need to wait.
A version of this commentary was previously published by Star Tribune.