A judge has already temporarily halted a state plan to cut the wage of personal care attendants who care for their relatives, and now some legislators want to repeal the law passed last session that led to the cut.
Last session’s budget-balancing led to the proposed 20 percent pay cut, because some legislators thought they could save state money while not affecting the level of care, said MPR.
When family care-givers challenged the law, saying it was unfair to be paid a different rate for the same work, a judge quickly put the pay cut on hold, and took the case under consideration. A ruling is expected in April.
Twenty other states also pay people members to care for disabled family members, the story said. The cuts were expected to save the state $24 million.
Steve Larson, policy director for The Arc of Minnesota, says in the story:
“The proposal to cut 20 percent was based on the fact that families would continue to provide care. But since this passed in July we have heard from thousands of families about how this is going to be a financial burden and put their loved ones at risk of going into a nursing home or some other institutional placement. That will absolutely be more costly for the state long term.”
A bill to eliminate the cuts is sponsored by state Rep. Tina Liebling, a DFLers from Rochester. She told MPR: “We shouldn’t wait for the courts to tell us that we have to take care of our people,. That’s the job of the Legislature.”