Sen. Steve Murphy of Red Wing named Legislator of the Year
February 13, 2007
Contact: Emily Wilson
MINNEAPOLIS Sen. Steve Murphy, DFL-Red Wing, has been presented with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Minnesota Chapter’s Legislator of the Year Award for his efforts to pass the transportation service requirements law to protect Metro Mobility from cutbacks in program funding.
As the bill’s chief author in the Minnesota Senate, Murphy worked to pass this bill in reaction to the 2005 Metropolitan Council proposal to implement a 10 percent cut in Metro Mobility funding. As a result of the 2005 proposal, five communities would have had no Metro Mobility service, 11 additional suburbs would have lost more than half of their current service and another 12 cities would have lost a portion of their service. In all, 28 metro communities would have seen significant service reductions. These proposals were not implemented.
The law passed during the 2006 session protects the status quo for people with multiple sclerosis and other disabilities and requires that any cuts to Metro Mobility be approved by the legislature. The Metropolitan Council will no longer be able to make administrative decisions to cut services. The law also requires that Metro Mobility service be provided to cities as a whole.
“Metro Mobility provides an essential service to many people with MS and other disabilities in the Twin Cities,” said Joel Ulland, vice president of public affairs of the National MS Society, Minnesota Chapter. “Thanks to Senator Murphy’s efforts, people with MS will continue to have access to accessible transportation and remain independent.”
Murphy was given the award at the Minnesota Chapter’s MS Society Day at the Capitol Conference, held Feb. 12 and 13. At the event, nearly 100 people affected by MS learned about public policy issues important to people with MS and met with their legislators at the State Capitol to advocate for improvements to health care, transportation, education and employment for people with MS and other disabilities.