2019 Legislative Session: Highlights
Thank you to all of the advocates who voiced their thoughts and brought much-needed attention to the legislative priorities that impact individuals with disabilities and caregivers. Together, we made gains that helped offset significant cuts.
Health Care Provider Tax: Extended
For the past 27 years, the Health Care Provider Tax has been a reliable revenue stream that ensures people in our communities have access to affordable health care services. The 2 percent tax paid by healthcare providers including hospitals and clinics that support the state-run health care system has benefited more than one million Minnesotans.
This year, this tax was scheduled to end – a revenue loss of nearly $700 million dollars per year. Efforts from advocates and organizations helped persuade legislators to extend the tax. The rate was also lowered to 1.8 percent. Extending this tax helps people who struggle to afford market-rate coverage pay for health care.
Competitive Workforce Factor: Approved
Recent data shows that the wage differential between direct support professionals and those in comparable careers in other fields is at approximately 17 percent. This session, the legislature established a Competitive Workforce Factor (CWF) ratio of 4.7 percent. This change will result in an approximate 4 percent increase in service reimbursement rates.
Automatic inflationary adjustments will also occur every two years beginning July 1, 2022. These legislative highlights, CWF and automatic inflationary adjustments, are beginning steps to addressing the wage differential and workforce shortage in disability services.