Thousands of Minnesotans struggling with physical and mental disabilities have been deprived of basic services and therapy because county governments are failing to spend millions of dollars set aside for disability services.
In the past two years alone, nearly $200 million in state and federal money that was allocated by the state for people with disabilities went unspent by counties, state records show. As a result, disabled people were placed on long waiting lists for services and wrongly told that money was unavailable.
The situation has inflamed advocates and state lawmakers, who are now pressing the administration of Gov. Mark Dayton to accelerate long-stalled reforms that would expand access to independent housing, transportation and other services for the disabled.