Friday, July 7, 2017

Moving to Minnesota

For people with disabilities, state government matters. Illinois finally has a budget, but it's not a state on which I can gamble my son's adulthood. We're moving.
"More house?" My son emphasizes the aspirated "H" as he climbs into our blue minivan. I pause and turn to look at him.
"What?"
"More ... house." This time he says it even more slowly, with a long drawn out "'hah" before getting to "ouse." He's eager to get the car moving and continue touring properties for sale in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.
"Good job saying 'house,' Nico," my daughter chimes in from the neighboring seat. I'm relieved. We're not going to buy a house today, but I'm glad to see everyone is having a good time as our realtor leads us on a tour through some of our Minneapolis options. We are moving from Chicago to the Twin Cities in just eight weeks. Moreover, we're doing it, at least in part, in hopes of ensuring a better future for our son.
When it comes to life with disabilities, state administrations matter. Sure, federal laws ensure basic civil rights, federal programs mandate (sometimes, but not always, with funds attached) all kinds of services, but states and their third-party partners (think non-profits) tend to administer everything. When a state collapses, it takes the disability services down with it. As Politico recently wrote: Illinois is a failed state.
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