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Legislative Efforts Continue as Session Ends

Phoenix continued to build relationships with our legislators this fall, even when the legislature was not in session.

This fall, Phoenix continued our conversation with legislators in the off-season by inviting them to visit our homes and the individuals we support. In total, we visited with five legislators since the legislative session ended in May, including Senators Clausen and Bigham, and Representatives Huot, Jurgens, and Becker-Finn. Individuals from Afton, Chaparral, Drexel, and Western homes had the opportunity to visit with their legislators and tell them why their support of home and community-based services is still so important. A visit to Caswell House from Senator Chamberlain is planned for later this fall as well.

Building and maintaining these relationships is still critical in this time of need. Even though the session has ended, it doesn’t mean our work is done. Until our direct care staff is paid a living wage, we will continue to advocate on their behalf—and we hope you will too!

Last spring, a special session was held to pass the final budget bills. Our trade association, ARRM, introduced several legislative priorities that were included in the bill. Ultimately, the bill passed with only hours to spare, and it did include a 4.7% Competitive Workforce Factor to the DWRS. Although, we had asked for 7%, this still means tens of millions of dollars will go towards DSP wages.

Additionally, several Phoenix staff attended legislative events out in the community, including a trip to our nation’s Capitol, a Provider Tax Mini-Summit and Day of Action at the Capitol, and several roundtable events hosting our state legislators.

The next legislative session will convene February 11, 2020—and until then, we will do whatever we can to make an impact on those who represent the individuals we support. We invite you to reach out to your legislator and continue to voice your concerns about a living wage for direct care staff. Stay informed and look for future updates from us.

Thank you for advocating on our behalf!