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Phoenix Embarks on 2019 Legislative Efforts

Phoenix Meets with Two Representatives for Support of Recent Issues

With the 2019 legislative session now underway, The Phoenix Residence is ramping up its advocacy efforts this year. The new  legislative session brought new faces to the Capitol—nearly half of our representatives in the Minnesota House are new. Phoenix has made it a priority to educate and meet with all the new representatives in our area.

Last week, we began our quest in this adventure! We met with two new representatives on different issues affecting the individuals we  support. But this is just the beginning, as we have more site visits planned in the next week and ARRM Day at the Capitol next month.

Rep. Moller Visits Ludden House

Last Friday, we had the special opportunity to host Rep. Kelly Moller at our Ludden House so she could learn more about us and discuss The Best Life Alliance’s bill (HF 179) to end a 7% cut to our rates. Because Rep. Moller is new to the Capitol it was important for us to educate her and lay the groundwork of understanding Home and Community-Based Services, and how important her support of this legislation is.

This bill ends a destabilizing cut to community-based disability service rates due to Federal action and the state legislature’s inability to fix the issue last session. The bill takes steps to address the severe workforce shortage, moving Minnesota towards a more stable rate system for disability services. We’re hoping the legislature can pass the bill this session to support our hardworking Direct Support Professionals and the individuals we support.

This was Rep. Moller’s first visit to The Phoenix Residence as representative of District 42A. She represents our Ludden and Janet Court homes. Thank you Rep. Moller for visiting us!

Phoenix Proposes New Bill

Phoenix also had the distinct opportunity to meet with Rep. Tou Xiong at the Minnesota State Capitol last week to discuss funding for our new autism program. Phoenix President/CEO Darlene Scott, Program Manager Lauren Velasco, Community Living Coach Ther Yang, and ARRM’s lobbyist Phil Griffin, discussed not only the bill we proposed, but also an issue that affects the entire state—the prevalence of autism and the specialized care they need.

The group talked about Phoenix’s history and who we serve, along with why funding is needed, how we intend to use the funding, and who will benefit from this. Should this bill pass, we plan to use the funding for environmental modifications at Carver House to create sensory-friendly spaces for the individuals living at the home, and for specialized autism training for employees. 

We are so fortunate to announce that Rep. Xiong is honored to be the author of our bill! Once the language of the bill is finalized, a first reading of the bill will follow.

This was Rep. Xiong’s first visit with The Phoenix Residence as representative of District 53A. He represents our Carver home. Thank you Rep. Xiong for your support of our bill!