MN Gov Walz’s 2023 Budget – How did Autism and the Somali Community do?

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Alright – so, if you read my blog or know me then you are aware that I am not a fan of one Minnesota hoax governor Walz. I think he preaches sugar, practices salt and for sure divides our community. Divide and concur is an old tactic that sadly still works. He always finds one or two people who look like us but do not understand policy from poop to speak with. He takes a picture with them, maybe eats one or two sanbusa, befriends them on social media, and viola like magic – he is for us. Yay!

At any rate, state governors unlike the federal government have to balance their budget. This year Minnesota has lots of lots extra money and with that, the governor has a huge discretion on how that funding is used. Here is his budget for this year.

There are potentially 4 main agencies that can do something about autism.

Minnesota Department of Health, (MDH). Walz just appointed a black commissioner. I do not know enough about her to have an opinion. If you control F search autism – you will see it is mentioned only under cannabis. Autism is one of the conditions that a patient can legally purchase cannabis. That is it. No other autism is mentioned. Keep in mind, there are three areas MDH must do: Assurance, Quality, and Assessment. And, One Minn Hoax Gov fails autism families again. There is no autism research funding under its assessment charge. No funding for telling families about resources and services available which would be under the child and maternal health which includes children with special needs. And, definitely, nada under quality. The last time, MDH did anything about autism was Gov Pawlenty. You know, the party we minorities think they don’t help us.

If you control F search Somali – I think there is something about drug overdose. It is mediocre at best.

Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS): This agency takes billions of the state’s budget by far. It employs more people than a small country. It is run by Commissioner Harpstead. North Korea is more welcoming than her. Under this commissioner, more black and brown employees have been fired than the previous 3 commissioners combined. So many providers of color are screwed with probably weekly. DHS is in charge of services for the elderly, disabled, and the poor. For autism, DHS has two things.

  1. To add Native American-related items which are probably needed.
  2. To study licensure for EIDBI is not a bad idea, but if history is a pre-indicator of the future, this is to squeeze and close minorities, especially Somali autism centers. We know that DHS disproportionately screws with black and brown providers. From what I understand, there is no Somali employee at SIRS or provider division, or in the EIDBI area. In other words, unless we fight back, DHS will without a doubt go after Somali EIDBI providers.
  3. DHS did not add any grant or funding to ensure autism families are aware of services and available resources. Nothing was added for positive behavior support or person-centered training. Sad but not surprising.

MDE – education department has a black man heading now. I do not know him enough to have an opinion. From what I can tell, he seems to care about non-exclusionary discipline and the education gap. We will have to wait and see if it is just hot smoke or if MDE will do something about school districts that disproportionately fail and suspend students with autism/disabilities as well as black/brown kids.

DEED – I don’t have enough knowledge about this agency to have an opinion. I do know they are supposed to help our kids with finding employment. As my son gets older, I guess I will have to learn about DEED.

For the rest of the agencies, I hope people read the budget and proposed policies to see how Gov Walz did. In my opinion, he failed our autism families again. Sadly, no one in the community cares enough to tell him including our elected officials.

If you remember, just before the election, Gov Walz used magic words like equity and racial disparities among blacks to have meaningless zoom meetings coordinated by MDE’s asst commissioner who is a black woman. My guess is it was to get the black vote. Gee, I wonder where I heard that from.

The above words do not reflect any candidate, agency, or committee.

Idil – Somali Autism Mom & Advocate

Category: Autism Policy