Public policy priorities
Goodwill/Easter Seals Minnesota's legislative priorities are listed below. All of these issues affect the people we assist.
To read more details on each state and federal legislative topic and how Goodwill/Easter Seals is supporting them, read our issues brief.
Through our FATHER Project program, we offer services for low-income parents to help them support their children economically and emotionally. We encourage federal and state levels of government to consider fathers when designing programs to support low-income families and children.
Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA)
We support The Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999 which created a network of Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) services across the country. We would like federal funding reinstated.
Workforce Investment Act (WIA)/Vocational Rehabilitation
In Minnesota, Goodwill/Easter Seals provides WIA Adult, WIA Dislocated Worker Services and Vocational Rehabilitation services to more than 1,000 people annually. We are urging Congress to reauthorize the WIA this year and ensure that the workforce system leverages strong community-based organizations, like Goodwill/Easter Seals, to provide critical, cross-cutting services that will better assist job seekers and others in need.
Health Care Reform/Affordable Care Act
With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act moving forward at the federal level, we plan to engage at state-level implementation to ensure that participants and staff interests are met. For example, support payment reforms in the Adult Rehabilitative Mental Health Services (ARMHS) program by either increasing rates or adding billable activities at our Working Well Mental Health Clinic.
Goodwill/Easter Seals will work to ensure that policy and funding decisions regarding career pathways consider all populations – including low-income and low-skilled – for pursuing career pathways.
Goodwill/Easter Seals offers transitional employment and support for ex-offenders to ensure a successful re-entry into the community following incarceration. Our legislative goals include:
The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, which provides states with funds to support income assistance and other services for low-income families with children, is due for reauthorization at the federal level. TANF services are delivered in Minnesota through the Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP). We advocate for reauthorization of TANF.
Deanna Smiley Gulliford