By Elizabeth Schear, Executive Director, Rock County Opportunities Inc.

People with disabilities rely on organizations like Rock County Opportunities (RCO) to live meaningful and productive lives. RCO and other nonprofits like it together employ thousands of Minnesota citizens, both with and without disabilities. Unfortunately, if things don’t change, these will experience significant revenue cuts from the state that will force us to make some very tough decisions.


Despite this uncertainty for our financial future, I would like to stay as positive as possible. Our struggle has been to attract and keep our staff, and funding cuts will only make things worse. Rep. Joe Schomacker is helping to bring some stability.


In a Capitol press release, he said, “To eliminate the back-and-forth, Rep. Schomacker has authored a bill that would create a new state fund - the Competitive Workforce Factor - in order to make up what employees can’t receive for inflation.


”This will allow for a steadier funding source for those providing care, and should create a smoother process for businesses running facilities that care for the disabled,” Schomacker said. Rep. Schomacker’s bill was recently approved in the Minnesota House Health and Human Services Reform Committee.


Some of the state’s decisions can have a detrimental effect across our community. I know the people in Rock County and the surrounding area want what is best for all of our citizens, and want to see our community continue to flourish. Thank you, Rep. Schomacker, for doing your part to represent our community’s needs in St. Paul. Senator Bill Weber, I hope we can count on your support of this bill as well.