A Public Policy Agenda guides policy work at the Minnesota Council on Disability (MCD). The agenda provides the framework for which bills and policies we champion during the legislative session.
Our Council members unanimously approved the 2022 MCD Legislative Agenda on December 8, 2021. This year’s theme is Capacity Building. For MCD to fully execute its statutory mandates, our agency must be adequately staffed and have the resources to represent and advocate for the over 1 million Minnesotans with disabilities.
The challenges and barriers Minnesotans with disabilities face existed long before the COVID-19 pandemic. The past two years exacerbated those barriers. The COVID-19 pandemic dramatically impacted Minnesota’s disability communities. In addition to greater risk of severe disease and death,
- They experienced higher risks for severe disease and death than other Minnesotans.
- The community is experiencing significant disruptions in critical areas, including services and supports, healthcare, education, employment, and transportation, among other areas.
For many in our state, the pandemic is a disruptive inconvenience. COVID-19 drastically altered our lives—and continues to do so. As pandemic fatigue sets in across the state, we experience a cavalier disregard for our lives. Many of our fellow Minnesotans rebuke mitigation measures meant to protect the most vulnerable.
The pandemic has shown how critical it is to have a fully prepared, well-staffed disability agency in times of crisis.
- Was deployed to the State Emergency Operation Center,
- Is acting as disability advisors to other state agencies,
- Are organizing coalitions to pass critical legislation, and
- Are serving as unrelenting advocates for the disability communities in Minnesota.
MCD represents over a million Minnesotans with disabilities in state government. Our agency does a lot with very little. Our capacity is limited, and it is challenging to execute the extensive mandates in our founding statutes effectively. Therefore, the Minnesota Council on Disability will advocate expanding our capacity to serve Minnesotans with disabilities, a service the community is guaranteed under Minnesota Statutes 256.482 Subd. 5.
I look forward to working with our elected officials in the 2022 Legislative Session to ensure that it happens.
Public Policy Director
Pillar #1: Capacity Building
Pillar #1 priorities:
- Minnesota Council on Disability Budget Expansion
- State Employment and Retention of Employees with Disabilities
- Collection and Interagency Sharing of Disability Data
- Rare Disease Advisory Council
Pillar #2: Interagency Partnership
- Communication and Broadband Access for Minnesotans with Disabilities
- Hearing Aid Affordability
- Accessible and Affordable Housing
- Access to Mental Health Services
- Inclusive Higher Education
- Inclusive K-12 Education
- Parental and Guardianship Rights for People with Disabilities
- Unemployment Insurance/Social Security Parameters and Income Thresholds
- Expand Access and Affordability of Dental Care for Minnesotans with Disabilities
Pillar #3: External Partner Support
- Accessibility in Housing Requirements for housing projects that utilize bonding dollars
- Inclusive Higher Education
- Expanding public transit options and improving accessibility on existing routes and lines