What we know so far and what we need to do next
1/20/2021 6:23:59 PM
If you are DeafBlind or prefer to watch the video in a slow-paced, high contrast format, watch the DeafBlind friendlier ASL version instead.
MNCDHH is pleased to share some information about our legislative agenda for 2021.
We will hire a Government Relations Director to advance our public policy. The state has a hiring freeze but we managed to navigate through hurdles and will be posting the position soon.
In the meantime, the legislative session has already started. Our board approved contracting with a professional lobbyist who is familiar with MNCDHH and our issues. The lobbyist will monitor and communicate MNCDHH’s perspective to appropriate policy makers and staff. He will also help with drafting bills and helping to secure chief authors.
1) Preserve funding for existing programs
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected this legislative session. Legislators will focus on saving money to reduce the deficit. This means that MNCDHH must advocate to preserve the funds allotted to programs and services that impact deaf, deafblind, and hard of hearing Minnesotans.
2) DeafBlind Intervener language
MNCDHH wants to insert the definition of an intervener into the education statute as a first step in ensuring appropriate support services for students who are DeafBlind. We hope to introduce this concept to legislators this year (2021) and propose the full bill in 2022.
There are several bills being led by others. They have asked for MNCDHH’s support. Our board members listened to their comments and had an opportunity to ask questions. Unfortunately, our board ran out of time and did not vote. We will hold a Special Board meeting so that we can finish our discussion and vote.
MNCDHH will continue to share legislative updates during this session. Please subscribe to our newsletters or follow our website and social media to stay up to date. Thank you!
The Minnesota Commission of the Deaf, DeafBlind & Hard of Hearing thanks:
James Beldon III for ASL talent.
Patty McCutcheon for voiceover.
Keystone Interpreting Solutions for film production.