Thank You! The 5% Campaign a Success

Karin Stockwell, Dungarvin Minnesota; Darlene Scott from Phoenix Residences and John Everett from Community Involvement Programs at the celebration of the successful legislation granting a 5% COLA for services for services for people with disabilities

The Legislature passed and the Governor signed the 5% rate increase for services for people with disabilities.

What does this mean? For Community Involvement Program employees and other direct care professionals, it means the first regular wage increase in seven years!

Thank you to all of the people who supported the 5% Campaign — from the staff who shared their stories to the public policy advocates — to the legislators and Governor who passed and signed the final bill into law.

What made this effort so unique was that it was outside the regular biennial budget process and so was an uphill battle from the start. The efforts were led by a wide coalition: advocacy groups lead by Steve Larson from Arc Minnesota, families and those who depend on direct care workers every day and providers who struggled to maintain quality with fewer and fewer resources. All of them realized that the core of what we do depends on the quality and commitment of each direct care professional and that this legislation grants a wage increase for this worker that is long past due.

The increase will go into effect July 1, 2014 and the law requires that 80% of the new rate be spend on compensation. As the Governor notes in his comments on June 10th celebration, “spend it well”. Don’t worry Governor, we will.