Caregivers for state's elderly, disabled rally for a pay raise

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Caregivers for the elderly and disabled will rally at the state Capitol Rotunda on Tuesday in an effort to build pressure for a pay raise in advance of the 2014 legislative session.

The Associated Press reports that a nonpartisan coalition will lobby Minnesota state lawmakers to approve a five-percent rate increase for home and community based services. Approximately 112,000 workers provide those services. The boost would match the raise passed for nursing home workers in the last session.

The group's Facebook page said speakers will include lawmakers from both sides of the aisle, including Rep. Jerry Newton, Sen. Kent Eken, Rep. Jim Abeler, Sen. John Hoffman, Sen. David Hann, Sen. David Brown, and Rep. Tom Huntley. It adds that people with disabilities and advocates will share stories about the impact of fee hikes and service reductions.

The campaign kicked off in August in Duluth. At a rally then, leaders said that the state can afford to pay more to the workers following cuts and pay freezes that they’ve absorbed in recent years. They say a raise will limit staff turnover.

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