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: February 12, 2020


Medicaid

The House passed a resolution expressing disapproval of the Trump administration's harmful actions towards Medicaid (H Res 826). This is in response to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services announcement of a recent block grant proposal.

Plain Language:

  • The House of Representatives does not like how the federal government is giving states a chance to change how Medicaid is paid for.

What this means to you:

  • The waivers would directly hurt people with Medicaid by taking away coverage and access to needed care by cutting federal funding. People with disabilities, children, and older adults will be affected.

Action Steps:

  • Read CMS' Healthy Adult Opportunity Fact Sheet.
  • Read AUCD's Policy Talk Blog in response to this announcement.
  • Contact your state legislature, state Medicaid Directors, and Governors to share your concern on the impact this would have on people's to access healthcare.


Family Medical Leave

This Tuesday, February 11, the House Education & Labor Committee'sWorkforce Protections Subcommittee is holding a hearing on "Balancing Work, Health, and Family: The Case for Expanding the Family and Medical Leave Act." Witnesses and members are expected to discuss both the need for a strong national paid leave program and the need to expand the Family and Medical Leave Act's (FMLA) eligibility rules. The focus of this hearing will be the Family Medical Leave Modernization Act (HR 5456) and the FAMILY Act (HR 1185).

Plain Language:

  • The House of Representatives is having a hearing to help families be able to take time off work.

What this means to you:

  • The proposed legislation would create a national paid leave insurance program, wage replacement and protections helping to support individuals in caring for family members with disabilities.

Food Assistance

The House Committee on Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy met last week to revisit the changes proposed by the Trump administration to the nutritional assistance program known as SNAP. A final rule was issued in December to limit states' ability to expand SNAP eligibility, a move that could adversely affect nearly 700,000 households with children.

Plain Language:

  • The House of Representatives had a hearing on a new rule that will hurt people of color, people with disabilities, and poor people who need help buying food.

What this means to you:

  • Thirty-six states currently have waivers in place for SNAP time limits for areas where unemployment is high. The effects of the new rule will fall hardest on people of color, people without higher education, and people living in rural areas.
  • Read the new rule.


Campaign 2020

After last week's New Hampshire primary, Andrew Yang, Michael Bennett, and Deval Patrick have dropped out of the Democratic presidential race.


Democratic Candidates:

Republican Candidates:


Campaign 2020 and Voting

Primaries are approaching! Thirty-six (36) of 100 Senate seats are up in 2020 - a mix of standard cycles and special elections. All House of Representatives seats are up, with at least 36 members not seeking reelection. Now is the time to get ready to vote! Here are things to do:

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:


Campaign 2020

Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro announced last week he is ending his campaign for president.

Senator Elizabeth Warren is the latest Democratic candidate to release a disability policy plan, Protecting the Rights and Equality of People with Disabilities.

Democratic presidential Iowa Caucus February 3, 2020)

Link to all Candidates: 2020 presidential election.

For the full list of candidate requirements, click here.

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

Republican (updated 2/12/20)


Democrat (updated 2/19/20)



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