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Following years of budget cuts and freezes to HCBS, The 5% Campaign coalition
formed to ask lawmakers for a rate increase in 2014 to help curb high staff turnover, and
improve the quality of care for people receiving services. As a result
of thousands of contacts by supporters, Governor Dayton signed a full 5% rate increase for HCBS into law on June 20, 2014, as part of the supplemental budget bill. Providers of these services for people
with disabilities and older adults received a five percent rate increase
effective July 1, 2014. The
legislation helped address a crisis and improve the lives of tens of thousands of
individuals across the state, with the bulk of the funds going to DSPs, caregivers, and other direct care workers.
While the 2014 increase was a great step in the right direction, it is important that
elected officials continue to make people with disabilities and older
adults a priority and continue to address the workforce shortage and ensure quality services. Even with the 2014 increase, rates for Home and
Community-Based Services remain far behind the pace of inflation and staff
turnover remains a challenge. View graph
In following years, the coalition again sought funding to ensure that services for people with disabilities and older adults remains available, stable, and sustainable. The 5% Campaign changed its name to Best Life Alliance to transition from a one-ask campaign to a long-term Home & Community-Based Services coalition. Though no rate increase was passed by lawmakers in the past three sessions, supporters helped to increase awareness of the workforce shortage and how it is impacting people with disabilities and older adults receiving services. We are grateful to each and every coalition supporter for their strong advocacy. The amount of time spent, personal stories shared and dedication that direct support professionals, self-advocates, family members and other supporters has been nothing short of remarkable and inspiring.
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