Action Alert

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NAMI Minnesota
800 Transfer Road, #31
Saint Paul, MN 55114

phone: 651-645-2948
toll free: 1-888-NAMI-Helps
fax: 651-645-7379


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Action Alert - May 20, 2015

Call the Governor's Office Today

Very late - with barely minutes to spare - an amendment that included the funding for employment and housing was placed on the omnibus agriculture bill and was passed and sent to the Governor on Monday night. Basically, the conferees for the omnibus jobs bill were having a difficult time coming to an agreement on what to fund and the conference committee meeting kept being delayed. The conference committee ended up putting together a "lights on" amendment meaning that very few new items for funding were included.

This was BAD news for us because the senate version of the bill included increased funding for the Bridges Housing program (which is a rental subsidy program for people with mental illnesses) which has a long waiting list (1300 people) and the bill included continued funding for the IPS supported employment program for people with mental illnesses. In the last biennium we were able to get one time funding to transform the EE-SMI employment programs to IPS (Individual Placement and Supports) but the money was not included in the base. In order to keep these programs going we needed to add the funding to the budget which the Governor did in his proposed budget and which the senate did in its bill.

The final compromise does not include increased funding for the Bridges program and does not include the continued funding for these new IPS projects.
Without this funding, 200 people with serious mental illnesses will lose IPS services, meaning persons will lose access to placement services and ongoing job support services for those that are working. The following counties will lose access to IPS services: Sherburne, Stearns, Benton, Dakota, Nobles, Cottonwood, Jackson, Rock, Pipestone, Blue Earth, Douglas, Hennepin, Anoka, Ottertail, Wilken, Winona, Houston, Wabasha, Fillmore.

We have heard that there is a chance that the governor will veto this bill so we believe we should add some pressure so we can work to get this money back in.

Everyone needs to call Governor Dayton today with the following message:

"We support the increased funding for mental health services in the omnibus health and human services bill but we urge you to veto the jobs bill because it does not include the funding needed to continue supported employment programs for people with mental illnesses and it does not include increases to the Bridges Housing program. Thank you."

The Governor's phone number is (651) 201-3400 or Toll Free: 800-657-3717. Time is of the essence - make your phone call today!!

Action Alert - May 7, 2015

Action Alert 5-7-15 Budget Target, HHS & Employment Bills, here.

Action Alert - May 3, 2015

We are down to the wire. The legislative session is scheduled to end on May 18th. That leaves just two weeks for the legislature and the Governor to come together to decide the size of the budget, to decide how much money each area of government will get and to decide what will be funded in each of those areas. That's a tall order! Here's a good article from MinnPost on the topic.

NAMI Minnesota is very concerned that the health and human services area will be given a target lower than the senate but higher than the house but still not enough to keep MinnesotaCare and fund everyone's priorities.

We want a HIGHER target than the senate. There are many competing demands in the health and human services area right now - higher rates for nursing homes, funding for our child protection system - and of course investing in what works in our mental health system.

Everyone needs to contact the leadership of the house and senate and Governor Dayton's office to urge them to increase the target for the health and human services bill to make sure we can make the much-needed investments in our mental health system. Tell them to make it higher than the Senate target. Click here for a copy of a postcard that you can mail in (print on heavy paper). You can also mail in a letter, call or email this message as well - JUST ACT SOON - before Friday! There isn't much time left. They need to hear from mental health advocates!

Majority Leader
Thomas M. Bakk (03, DFL)
232 Capitol
E-mail: Use Mail Form

Chair of the Finance Committee
Richard Cohen (64, DFL)
301 Capitol
E-mail: Use Mail Form

Speaker of the House
Kurt Daudt (31A, R)
463 State Office Building
St. Paul, MN 55155

Chair of the Ways and Means Committee
Jim Knoblach (14B, R)
453 State Office Building
St. Paul, MN 55155

Governor Mark Dayton
116 Veterans Service Building
20 W 12th Street
St. Paul, MN 55155
Telephone: 651-201-3400
Toll Free: 800-657-3717
Minnesota Relay: 800-627-3529
Fax: 651-797-1850
Email: Use Mail Form

Also, there will be a press conference on Thursday morning at 9:30 am in Room 181 of the State Office Building where several groups are coming together to urge leadership to set a higher target for health and human services. Everyone is welcome to attend. It should last about 30 minutes.