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
(1-888-626-4435)
fax: 651-645-7379

email: namihelps@namimn.org

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Final Negotiations for 2017 Legislative Session

Action Alert - May 19, 2017

The 2017 legislative session ends this Monday at Midnight. This is right around the corner, but it's not too late for you to make a difference.

There is still so much that needs to be done for people living with mental illness and their families.  Major reforms to the use of solitary confinement remain unfunded and out of the Public Safety omnibus bill. Vocational Rehabilitation Services are still not in the jobs bill and the cut target for Health and Human Services is still too large.

We are counting on you to contact Speaker Daudt and Majority Leader Gazelka Right Now!

Here's what you have to say:

My name is __________ and I am a NAMI member. I want you to support the spending increase for mental health staff in our prisons in the Governor's budget and the solitary confinement reforms policy language. We also have very serious concerns with the Health and Human Services cut target. With a budget surplus, now is the time to be making investments in our mental health system. Finally, we are counting on you to match the Governor's funding increase for voc rehab services, which help Minnesotan's obtain employment and live independently. Thank you for listening.

Legislative Leadership

Speaker Kurt Daut - 651-296-5364 - rep.kurt.daudt@house.mn

Majority Leader Paul Gazelka - 651-296-4875 - email

Action Alert on Solitary Confinement & Budget

May 13, 2017

NAMI remains very disappointed that policy changes to the use of solitary confinement and funding for increased mental health staff were not added to the Public Safety omnibus bill. After the extensive press coverage of the use of solitary confinement in Minnesota, it is unacceptable to make no progress this legislative session.

The Governor included funding for an increased number of mental health professionals in Minnesota prisons, something that NAMI strongly supports, but this spending increase needs to be coupled with the policy changes put forward by Rep. Zerwas and Sen. Hall (which were not included in the Governor's budget). 

We need you to contact the Leadership in the Legislature (even if they don't represent your community). Here's what you have to say:

My name is __________ and I am a NAMI member. After reading the disturbing reports in the Star Tribune, we need to take a stand and make sure that nobody spends hundreds and hundreds of days in solitary confinement, especially if the inmate is living with a mental illness. That's why we need you to support the spending increase for mental health staff in our prisons in the Governor's budget and the solitary confinement reforms developed by Rep. Zerwas and Sen. Hall. These basic reforms include minimum living condition standards like dimmed lights during evening hours, codifying what infractions merit solitary confinement, mandatory reviews of inmates stay in solitary confinement, and a yearly report to the Legislature from the Department of Corrections on the use of solitary confinement. Inaction is not an option. Thank you for considering these vital reforms as the 2017 session draws to a close.

If you have enough energy and can send a second email please let these same elected officials know that the budget for health and human services and employment are not high enough to meet the needs.

Here's what you have to say:

My name is ______ and I am a NAMI member. I have very serious concerns about the budget target for Health and Human Services. With a budget surplus, we need to continue to make investments in the mental health system, especially when we know people are waiting for services. Additionally, if funding for DEED is not increased no new individuals with mental illnesses will be able to access voc rehab services to obtain employment. 

Please reach out to any (preferably all) of these politicians in the next few days. The session ends May 22nd so time is of the essence. This should take no more than 10 minutes - surely you can spare 10 minutes to fight for increased funding to help children and adults with mental illnesses.

House

Speaker of the House Kurt Daudt

651-296-5364

rep.kurt.daudt@house.mn

Majority Leader Joyce Peppin

651-296-7806

rep.joyce.peppin@house.mn

Majority Whip Ron Kresha

651-296-4247

rep.ron.kresha@house.mn

Assistant Majority Leader Dan Fabian

651-296-9635

rep.dan.fabian@house.mn

Assistant Majority Leader Kelly Fenton

651-296-1147

rep.kelly.fenton@house.mn

Assistant Majority Leader Randy Jessup

651-296-0141

rep.randy.jessup@house.mn

Assistant Majority Leader Jim Nash

651-296-4282

rep.jim.nash@house.mn

Assistant Majority Leader Marion O'Neill

651-296-5063

rep.marion.oneill@house.mn

Assistant Majority Leader Roz Peterson

651-296-5387

rep.roz.peterson@house.mn

Speaker Pro Tempore Tony Albright

651-296-5185

rep.tony.albright@house.mn

Senate

Majority Leader Paul Gazelka

651-296-4875

email

Assistant Majority Leader Gary Dahms

651-296-8138 

sen.gary.dahms@senate.mn

Assistant Majority Leader Bill Ingebregtsen

651-297-8063

sen.bill.ingebregtsen@senate.mn

Assistant Majority Leader Eric Pratt

651-296-4123

sen.eric.pratt@senate.mn

Deputy Majority Leader Michelle Benson

651-296-3219

sen.michelle.benson@senate.mn

Deputy Majority Leader Jeremy Miller

651-296-5649

sen.jeremy.miller@senate.mn

President of the Senate Michelle Fischbach

651-296-2084 

sen.michelle.fischbach@senate.mn

President Pro Tem Warren Limmer

651-296-5645

sen.warren.limmer@senate.mn

Other Key Members to contact: 

Rep. Knoblach - 651-296-6612 - rep.jim.knoblach@house.mn                   

Sen. Rosen - 651-206-5713 -  sen.julie.rosen@senate.mn        

Action Alert: Vote "No" on New Health Care Plan

April 26, 2017

The media is reporting that the US House Freedom Caucus has agreed to an amendment to the American Health Care Act.  Read the story in the The Hill here. This means that they may be moving faster than expected to repeal the Affordable Care Act and to make significant changes to Medicaid (Medical Assistance). The vote could come as early as Friday, April 28.

The major policies in the amendment that NAMI Minnesota is strongly opposed to include:

- Making Medicaid a block grant or providing a per capita cap for each population group under Medicaid. This would not allow us to continue building our mental health system - such as adding Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facilities, more Intensive Residential Treatment Services (IRTS), more ACT teams, etc. The caps would be based on 2016 funding levels and thus would not include the increased costs of expanding access. 

- Allowing states to pick and choose which of the essential benefits would have to be covered by insurance plans. Mental health and substance use disorder treatments are an essential benefit. You don't get to pick your illness and so states shouldn't get to pick which illnesses get covered by insurance.

- Allowing plans to deny coverage because of pre-existing conditions

- Eliminating community rating which prevents health plans from charging higher premiums to people who have medical conditions. 

We are counting on you to email and call your U.S. Representative NOW and ask them to "Please vote NO on the American Health Care Act, and restructuring Medicaid."

Even if you've already reached out to your U.S. Representative, they need to hear from you again that we can't afford to lose mandated essential health benefits and we can't afford to block-grant or use per capita payments under Medicaid. These policy provisions will greatly hurt our mental health system. The proposed restructure of Medicaid will put a hole in states' budgets, leaving states with no other choice but to cut services for the people who need help the most. Losing Medicaid funding and not requiring private insurance to cover mental health benefits means there will be little funding to continue to build our mental health system. If you are willing to share your story with the press or for NAMI to use in lobbying against this bill, please email your story to namihelps@namimn.org

Here's all you have to say:

My name is ____ and I am a NAMI member that lives in your district. Please vote NO on the American HealthCare Act. Please reject provisions that convert Medicaid to a per capita cap or block grant and reject provisions that allow states to choose which of the essential benefits to require. Our mental health system is still being built and we can't afford to lose funding.

Add a little about yourself, such as you live with a mental illness, have a family member, etc.

Thank you for your advocacy!

Here is the contact information:

First District - Timothy J. Walz
(202) 225-2472  Walz Email

Second District - Jason Lewis
202) 225-2271 Lewis Email

Third District - Erik Paulsen
(202) 225-2871 Paulsen Email

Fourth District - Betty McCollum
(202) 225-6631 McCollum Email

Fifth District - Keith Ellison
(202) 225-4755  Ellison Email

Sixth District - Tom Emmer
(202) 225-2331 Emmer Email

Seventh District - Collin C. Peterson
(202) 225-2165  Peterson Email

Eighth District - Rick Nolan
(202) 225-6211  Nolan Email

Not sure which district you are in? Click here for a map.