Legislative Work

Advocacy

The Council is federally mandated under the Developmental Assistance and Bill of Rights to advocate for public policy change and community acceptance of all people with developmental disabilities and their families.

The Council provides advocacy information to self-advocates, family members and organizations throughout the year. This hands-on learning experience is an opportunity for elected officials to meet children and adults with disabilities, family members and personnel working in the field of developmental disabilities. Please contact our offices for more information: 307-777-7230.

Voting

In a democracy, citizens have the opportunity to vote on important issues and elect politicians and representatives. ... When more people vote, they increase the chance that the issues that are important to them are taken seriously. If a minority votes, there is a risk that their preferences do not represent the majority. This is an especially significant point for people in the disability community because you have the right to many different accommodations, and it is important to have your voice heard!

Take a look at this handy information page on voting! Voting Handout

WGCDD Legislative Briefing 2020

The Council's 2020 Legislative Briefing is a way we inform policymakers on activities and issues affecting the developmental disability community at the national, state and local levels during the legislative session each year. You can view a copy of the briefing here, or if you would like a hard copy, please email a request to our Policy Analyst at: aleyta.zimmerman@wyo.gov

WGCDD Legislative Update 2020

During the legislative Session the council provides a state legislative update on issues that may have an impact on the disability community. Please see the bills below. This document is updated daily throughout the Legislative Session. The 2020 legislative session begins February 10, 2020. Click here to be taken to the State Legislative page.

The Capitol is open for public tours Monday-Friday, 8:00am-5:00 pm. Click here for a link to the tour booklet.

Would you like to attend a legislative session? View the guidebook on how to do it here!



Wyoming Legislation to Watch 2020

The 2020 Budget Session will commence February 10, 2020. Below are the current bills to review that could impact the disability community.

Updated 2/19/2020. For a full list of bills, please visit https://wyoleg.gov/Legislation/2020

2020 bills in progress.xlsx

National News


In the News: October 12, 2020

COVID-19 Relief Package 4

U.S. Supreme Court

The Senate Judiciary Committee begins hearings on the confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the United States Supreme Court today. Hearings are currently scheduled for the next four days with Committee Senators attending both in-person and virtually. Senators Mike Lee (R-UT) and Thom Tillis (R-NC), who both sit on the Judiciary Committee, are currently in quarantine after testing positive for the coronavirus. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) continues to plan for a full-Senate confirmation vote before the November 3rd elections despite an outbreak of COVID-19 believed to have spread amongst White House officials and Senators at an event honoring Judge Barrett in the White House Rose Garden on September 27th.

AUCD has released a statement opposing the nomination of Judge Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court due to her well-evidenced hostility to the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA): "AUCD supports previous Supreme Court rulings upholding the constitutionality of the ACA, and affirms the Court's decisions that any changes to the Act be legislative and not judicial," said John Tschida, executive director of AUCD. "Repeal of the ACA would negatively and disproportionately impact people with disabilities, especially people of color, who are overrepresented in the Medicaid population." The Supreme Court is scheduled to consider a case challenging the constitutionality of the ACA beginning November 10th.

Plain Language:

COVID-19

The negotiations around further COVID-19 relief limped on last week despite confusion over White House support for any additional COVID-19 relief funding. Upon returning to the White House from Walter Reed Medical Center last week, President Trump publicly urged his Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to halt negotiations with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) until after the elections. However, it was reported that Speaker Pelosi and Chief of Staff Meadows have continued phone conversations to discuss the possibility of standalone relief funding for the airline industry to prevent massive layoffs.

Plain language:

· President Trump wants to hold off on COVID-19 relief until after the election. Speaker Pelosi and White House Chief of Staff Meadows are still talking about some funding.

What it means to you:

· It is unlikely that Congress will pass a COVID-19 relief bill that includes funding to help people with disabilities and the people who support them. You can call or email Congress to tell them about how COVID-19 has changed your life, for example your housing, services, health, school, or work. Every call and email matters.

The Senate is moving forward with Judge Amy Coney Barrett's nomination to the Supreme Court.

White House

People connected to the White House continue to test positive for the coronavirus after it was first reported that President Donald J. Trump tested positive on October 1st. President Trump returned to the White House last week after spending several days in Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, MD. The First Lady, members of Congress, White House staff and advisors, GOP officials, Trump campaign staffers, members of the press and members of the public who attended recent White House events have also tested positive for the coronavirus in recent weeks.

Plain language:

· President Trump had coronavirus.

What this means to you:

· The health of the President and other elected officials impacts how our government functions. A virus outbreak within party and campaign staff impacts how a campaign can function.


Presidential Campaign 2020

The second Presidential debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden that was scheduled for Thursday, October 15th will not take place.

Plain language:

· It is unclear if there will be more Presidential debates before the election because of COVID-19. The Commission in charge of the debates is working with the campaigns to decide between in-person or virtual debates, when to have the debates, and if there should be one or two more.

What this means to you:

· The debates are a chance to learn more about the platforms of each Presidential ticket and to think about who you want to vote for in November. If they are cancelled, you can learn more about the candidates on their websites and by watching past debates.

Action steps:

· Find official updates on the debates from the The Commission on Presidential Debate.

·



Campaign 2020

Tuesday, November 3, 2020 is the United States Presidential Election.

Both Republican former Governor Bill Weld of Massachusetts and Democratic Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard dropped out of the 2020 Democratic Presidential race. The race narrows as state primaries are being delayed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Stay up to date with the current candidates and where they stand on disability policy:

Click on the candidates name below to see their campaign information.

Republican (updated 5/4/20)


Democrat (updated 5/4/20)




Presidential candidates have been releasing various policy plans that impact the disability community. Some have specific disability plans, while others have disability embedded throughout other plans. Click on the links below to read each candidate's plan.


Democratic Candidates:


Republican Candidates:


Voting

Plain Language:

  • Make sure you can vote in this year's election and get ready for it.

What this means to you:

  • The power of the disability vote is HUGE and your voice and vote will make an impact.

Action steps:



How could a federal shutdown affect people with disabilities?


The link below will take you to the Social Security Administration's contingency plan for a shutdown:

https://www.ssa.gov/agency/shutdown/materials/contingency-plan-09-25-18.pdf


This link will show how Food Stamps could be affected in a shutdown:

https://www.freshebt.com/government-shutdown-ebt-food-stamp-benefits/


This link will show how housing assistance could be affected by a shutdown:

https://affordablehousingonline.com/shutdown


This link will show how the mail could be affected by a shutdown:

https://www.elitedaily.com/p/what-happens-to-the-mail-in-a-government-shutdown-heres-what-it-could-mean-for-holiday-packages-15543900


Here is a link to the IRS contingency plan and an article explaining how a shutdown could affect your tax return:

https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/266/IRS-Lapse-in-Appropriations-Contingency-Plan_Filing-Season_2019-01-15.pdf

https://www.libertytax.com/tax-lounge/what-does-a-government-shutdown-mean-for-your-taxes/


Here are two links specific to how a government shutdown could affect Wyoming:

Casper Star Tribune Article:

https://trib.com/news/state-and-regional/govt-and-politics/the-federal-government-shutdown-s-impacts-on-wyoming/collection_3e5dd5f9-9094-5f4c-a8c1-801ec7d45d7d.html


Wyoming Public Media:

https://www.wyomingpublicmedia.org/term/government-shutdown#stream/0