The budget delivers new support for people with disabilities, programs for older Minnesotans, food support, economic help for struggling families, and assistance for those experiencing mental illness and substance abuse. The budget invests $25 million to address homelessness, including funding for emergency shelters, services, and support grants. It contains a $68 million investment to increase the rates and wages of personal care attendants to ensure people with disabilities and vulnerable Minnesotans receive the care they need to live with dignity and reach their full potential. To help low-income Minnesotans who have struggled during the pandemic, the budget includes a cost of living increase along with a one-time payment of $750 for Minnesotans enrolled in the Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) and increases the eligibility threshold for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). To ensure county and tribal governments can continue to deliver important services, the budget has funding to address inadvertent overpayments in 2019 for opioid addiction treatments.
Also included is legislation I authored to create a pilot program to address gun violence-related trauma by providing training, resources, and education to individuals, organizations, and the wider community. Gun violence takes different forms in different parts of our state, but often results from the same cause: trauma. Research has shown that perpetrators of gun violence are often victims of gun violence themselves or have experienced forms of gun-related trauma.
In a recent announcement from the Federal Government, the deadline to obtain a REAL ID has been extended by an additional 18 months to May 3, 2023. This will help relieve some of the pressure on our local Driver and Vehicle Services offices, which have been overwhelmed with requests to renew expired drivers licenses and vehicle registration tabs, and give Minnesotans more time to obtain this updated form of identification.