Call now for GAAIN. Hearing March 27.

Calls needed: Friday, Saturday AND Sunday, March 24-26

On Monday morning (March 27), the senators in charge of health and human services will present their budget proposal. We need the GAAIN bill to be part of that proposal. So, we have to call Friday and over the weekend.

Tell them to include the GAAIN bill (SF791) in the Health and Human Services budget bill. If you can make only one call, please contact Senator Jim Abeler (R-Anoka).

Jim Abeler: 651-296-3733 – (Dist. 35 Anoka, R), sen.jim.abeler@senate.mn
Message to Chair Abler: “Thank you for signing on to – and granting a hearing to – the bill to ‘Give Aid to All in Need’ – the GAAIN bill – in your committee last month. Please push for the GAAIN bill – Senate File 791 – to be included in the Senate Health and Human Services finance bill. Right now, people across the state of Minnesota – who have been paying taxes for years – can’t get even a basic survival income if we fall on hard times. The GAAIN bill offers hope and dignity to people in need.”

Jim Abeler is the Senate Human Services Reform Finance and Policy Committee Chair. He signed on to GAAIN bill and granted it a hearing on Feb. 27. As of Mar. 23, his committee is combined with the overall HHS committee, co-chaired by Senators Abeler and Benson.

Other Senators on the HHS committee – please call as many as you can.
Message to other committee members: “Please push for the GAAIN bill – Senate File 791 – to be included in the Senate Health and Human Services finance bill. Right now, people across the state of Minnesota – who have been paying taxes for years – can’t get even a basic survival income if we fall on hard times. The GAAIN bill offers hope and dignity to people in need.”

Co-Chair: Michelle R. Benson (31, R), 651-296-3219, sen.michelle.benson@senate.mn
Jeff Hayden (62, DFL), 651-296-4261
Tony Lourey (11, DFL), 651-296-0293, sen.tony.lourey@senate.mn
Chris A. Eaton (40, DFL), 651-296-8869
Michelle L. Fischbach (13, R), 651-296-2084, sen.michelle.fischbach@senate.mn
John A. Hoffman (36, DFL), 651-296-4154
Jason Isaacson (42, DFL), 651-296-5537
Scott M. Jensen (47, R), 651-296-4837
Mary Kiffmeyer (30, R), 651-296-5655, sen.mary.kiffmeyer@senate.mn
Matt D. Klein (52, DFL), 651-296-4370
John Marty (66, DFL), 651-296-5645
Andrew Mathews (15, R), 651-296-8075
Carla J. Nelson (26, R), 651-296-4848, sen.carla.nelson@senate.mn
Jerry Relph (14, R), 651-296-6455
Julie A. Rosen (23, R), 651-296-5713, sen.julie.rosen@senate.mn
Paul J. Utke (02, R), 651-296-9651
Melissa H. Wiklund (50, DFL), 651-297-8061, sen.melissa.wiklund@senate.mn


Monday Hearing Notice:
Monday, March 27, 2017
Committee on Health and Human Services
Chairs: Sen. Michelle R. Benson and Sen. Jim Abeler
9:00 AM – Room 1200 Minnesota Senate Bldg.
A delete all amendment and spreadsheet will be posted as soon as it is available.
Spreadsheet and presentation of the HHS omnibus bill will start at 9 am, then the committee will recess at 10:55 for session. Committee will reconvene at noon and take public testimony. Please email Matt.Spellman@Senate.MN to testify. Please limit testimony to 2 1/2 min and one person per organization to allow the committee to hear from all who want to testify.

And call… Governor Dayton: 651-201-3400
“I am disappointed that you did not include the GAAIN bill in your supplemental budget. Please support it in the upcoming budget negotiations. It is Senate File 791, House File 357. Right now, people across the state of Minnesota – who have been paying taxes for years – can’t get even a basic survival income if we fall on hard times. The GAAIN bill offers hope and dignity to people in need.”

Background information on the GAAIN bill.

Give Aid to All In Need! The Welfare Rights Committee’s GAAIN Bill – House File 357 and Senate File 791 is still alive this legislative session.

In an unexpected victory on Feb. 27, the GAAIN bill was heard in the Senate Human Services Reform Finance and Policy, and passed on for possible inclusion in the budget bill.

The GAAIN bill extends state-funded General Assistance to people who have NO INCOME, but can’t get any cash assistance at all. These us, are our families, friends and neighbors who can’t get cash from unemployment benefits, disability, welfare, or any other program, under current law. They are unemployed and looking for work. But they have no cash to live on… or even to couch surf with a bit of dignity.

The GAAIN bill includes families who have been cut off because of the 5-year limit on MFIP (welfare for families with children). Right now, it is up the “discrimination” of individual counties to decide if families that have hit the time limit can get an extension. If not, the families – including the children – get no cash.

Passing the GAAIN would help families and individuals statewide. In greater Minnesota, the seasonal and/or boom-and-bust economy leaves many people with nothing during hard times. If we are renters, we risk losing our housing by taking in destitute family members and friends. Small towns and poor neighborhoods will directly benefit from the GAAIN bill, as residents give back to the local economy. And, because of historical racist policies, MN people of color face one of the largest income disparities in the nation.

There is a reason that Trump won. Regular working and poor people have been feeling ripped off and ignored for a long time, by both parties. But we know that Trump, and the billionaires he speaks for, are bad for all of us. So let’s turn this ship around. Tell politicians to do something that will really help the people in need.

GAAIN is our assault on the Trump agenda.
The GAAIN bill is a concrete way to say no to the billionaires’ agenda. Despite Trump’s campaign rhetoric, we all know that his plans mean cuts to programs for regular poor and working people nationwide. We have been here before. Trump’s plans to dismantle Medicaid are almost a mirror image of the Clinton 1996 welfare “reform” – block grants to the states, combined with cuts to health care eligibility and work requirements. In the long run, plans like this cost state taxpayers a lot of money and human beings a lot suffering.
Pass the GAAIN bill! Make your calls now!

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