Money meant for disabled Minnesotans goes unspent

(AP) — County governments are failing to spend millions of dollars that have been set aside for providing services and therapy to thousands of Minnesotans who are struggling with physical and mental disabilities.

Nearly $200 million in state and federal money allocated to the counties remains unspent. That’s resulted in disabled people being put on long waiting lists for services and being wrongly told that funds to help them are unavailable.

Disability rights advocates, providers and lawmakers are now pressing Governor Dayton’s administration to accelerate reforms that would expand access to independent housing, transportation and other services for the disabled.

One attorney is threatening a class-action lawsuit.

Assistant Human Services Commissioner Jennifer DeCubellis says the state clearly needs to manage these dollars better.