Disabled, Caregivers Protest Possible Budget Cuts At Capitol

ST. PAUL (WCCO) — Hundreds of people with disabilities and their caregivers were at the state capitol Tuesday protesting possible budget cuts.

State lawmakers are looking at possible service cuts to the disabled as part of a budget fix — erasing a $6.2 billion dollar shortfall.

Disability advocates say it will cut deeply into service for people with developmental and physical disabilities.

  • Alfonso Monso

    Perhaps we should make drastic cuts in State-funded services to pro sports teams, first…

    New stadium for the vikings? Seriously? While the disabled get cuts?


    Also perhaps our newly minted Gov will bring his Trust Fund back to Minnesota where he can pay his fair share of taxes on all that unearned money?

    • Mark

      What a great comment Alfonso Monso made! He is so right.

      • Justin

        I think that the state does great good with helping those that are disabled to enjoy a better life than they otherwise would. It needs to be carefully looked at, although I have seen abuses by a few caregivers who are getting paid for taking care of their family. Some people who are disabled are kept alive in a vegetative state for years – the public needs to realize that life has an end just as it has a beginning and at some point you need to stop overly aggressive care for someone in these types of states. We keep people alive and spend the most amount of money at the end of life when clearly there is a minimal chance that the person would even make any recovery, not even a meaningful recovery. This is where the most difference can be made in saving money. If a person decides they want to keep their loved one alive without regard to cost, then they need to pay for it. Very few countries keep people alive in these critically ill states for months and years like we do in America.

  • A MN Nurse


    I agree with you 100%. I work in healthcare with some of these people whose care is 100% paid by the state. Several of my client’s cares and supplies cost more than $50,000 a MONTH! I think if families had to pay more of the cost of care for their loved one we would see different choices being made and we wouldn’t see so many people living in a vegetative state with no quality of life living on the state dime. I have no problem with the choices families make when they take responsibility for their choices or if there is some quality of life. It is hard to keep my mouth shut when I see a family take advantage of the state’s money because they don’t want to make the hard decision with a loved one who is in a vegetative state with no chance of recovery from brain death or some other reason.

  • Ruth

    I recently worked in a group home for a lyear and two months as a direct support caregiver. The four residents I cared for were well cared for and lived lives to their potential, given their developmental/mental challenges. These folks deserve every dime that goes toward their care, The agency/corporate homes I worked for was already working on a very tight budget. The direct support staff providing direct care for these folks are already underpaid and overworked. I would still be there caring for them had I not lost 40 pounds in one year due to the physical stress of the home being poorly staffed, and the pay was less than adequate to pay the bills — so I had to move on. I don’t begrudge the amount of my tax dollars going to the care of these folks, and the last thing the programs supporting them is deep cuts in an already lean budget. How many people would step up to the plalte to volunteer to fill in the gaps is unknown if cuts are made, but it would be my guess that we wouldn’t be hearing from the folks whose incomes provide them the luxury of season tickets with the Vikings. I have no bone to pick with the Vikings or any proposed stadium’ I’m just saying that folks with ample resources usually don’t show up to volunteer or participate in making life better for those less fortunate — especially those who are mentally challenged. In my humble opinion, the funding needs to stay in place for these homes.

    • maureen

      Ruth’s comments are my experience too. Most of the money is spent on people who are younger, vibrant, and with years of good life ahead. To dismantle the system of services now and have to rebuild in 5 years would be insane. To put off or use existing buildings for sports, schools, and other things would make sense.

  • SUE


  • saxyjaz

    This is absolutely Mission Critical for Minnesota. I manage a number of group homes in Hennepin County. I am proud of my Minnesota heritage in terms of the care we provide for our disabled citizens. We are, and always have been, light years ahead of other states in terms of quality and diversity of services being offered. I fear that our un-informed & apathetic (to everything except their own election goals) politicians will not remember these individuals when thinking about budgets. There are somethings that can’t be looked at as pure numbers game.

    We already struggle to find quality staff at the rate we can pay. Ruth above is a fine example of this. She seems like a competent compassionate woman who was ‘forced out’ because it simply can’t pay the bills. I dare you to find good competent people willing to work crazy hours 7 days a week w/ no holidays off (because we run 24/7/365) while getting spit on and providing total care (bathing, toileting, feeding), for little more than $10/hr. $1600/month is barely enough to cover rent/food. This is the state of our services today… We cannot absorb any more cuts. By the way… Our funding has not even come close to keeping up w/ inflation. Other business are able to cover the increasing cost of inflation by raising their prices, not with human services, we’re bound contractually to the same level. Every year that inflation goes up & our funding stays the same is just like a cut… We have not been able to provide any form of raises for at least 4 or 5 years.

    I was disappointed that I wasn’t able to make it to the capitol yesterday, but that won’t stop me from making my voice heard (letters, emails, home visits, etc). We need to advocate for those that can’t themselves.

    Thank you ARRM for the work you do every day!

  • Kevin

    Good God…We are broke! We need to cut everything! And now! Or no a better idea…lets just raise taxes again!

  • Mike

    Thanks for this coverage. Cuts to services to persons with disabilities is not something that Minnesotans support. Overwhelming majorities of our citizens favor the kinds of services that the advocates want to protect — those that help people live independently, help them contribute to their communities, and help keep families that have children with disabilities together.

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  • Tahani

    Dear Sir,
    We are a center which provides rehabilitation services to disabled people, please see our link: (http://www.arabcitycare.com/Home/tabid/38/language/en-US/language/ar-JO/Default.aspx) we are planning to travel to your country next week to visit the best centers for disabled people there in order to:
    1- Interchange experiences
    2- Recruit:
    a. Caregivers
    b. Stuff nurses
    c. Service providers for; speech, occupational therapy, physic therapy…etc.
    d. Cleaners.
    And can you provide us with the best residential centers for disabled people in your country, please?

    A waiting for your kind replay to start cooperation

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