To the editor:
We work for two organizations in New Ulm that provide care and services to persons with disabilities. We were shocked and dismayed with the news that the Minnesota House and Senate are proposing $150 million in cuts to health and human services, while increasing revenue by $2 billion. People who provide care to persons with disabilities are working with our state's most vulnerable people day in and day out. The care they provide is critical for allowing those with disabilities to live full and rewarding lives and, yet, they are often the lowest of paid workers.
In the past four years disability services have endured countless cuts. These cuts have affected both the individuals we support and their professional support staff who have not received a pay increase since 2009. People with disabilities and provider organizations have been part of the state's budget solution. It is unfair now to ask those same people to shoulder the responsibility of fixing the state's chronic budget problems by enduring another round of cuts.
Services such as ours (services for people with disabilities) and those who provide nursing home services are important and valuable contributors to the economic health of our rural communities. We ask our state legislators and fellow Minnesotans to not support further cuts to health and human services. Minnesota has a long tradition of caring for those who are unable to care for themselves; these proposed cuts go directly against that tradition.
Habilitative Services, Inc.