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.
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 Update 2023
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 2023 legislative budget session begins January 10, 2023. 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.
Wyoming Legislation to Watch 2023
The council will review bills during the 67th Legislative General Session that could have an impact in the disability community.
For a full list of bills, please visit https://wyoleg.gov/Legislation/2023
Leadership and Committee Assignments for the 67th Legislature can be found at this link: https://wyoleg.gov/MediaRoomDocs/Leadership%20and%20Committee%20Assignments%20Finalized%20for%2067th%20Legislature_final.pdf
Members of the 2023 Senate: https://wyoleg.gov/Legislators/2023/S
Members of the 2023 House: https://wyoleg.gov/Legislators/2023/H
Attending a Legislative Meeting
General protocols for attending an in-person committee meeting
Do not attend a committee meeting in person if you are sick, have symptoms consistent with COVID-19, or are under a quarantine or isolation order due to a presumptive or confirmed case of COVID-19 or close contact exposure to COVID-19. To the extent possible, maintain a minimum of six feet between others attending the meeting at all times.
If you attend a committee meeting in person and later test positive or are presumed positive for COVID-19 you must report your exposure to the LSO Director. This shall apply if the meeting occurred within two days before the onset of symptoms or two days prior to positive specimen collection for asymptomatic individuals.
During public comment, if you would like to address the committee, you will be recognized and called on by the chairman.
After the chairman has recognized you, please stand and address the chairman (i.e., "Mr./Madam Chairman"). Clearly state your name and the organization you represent when applicable.
All comments, questions, and responses must flow through the chairman by addressing the chairman each time you wish to speak.
View Management Council Policy 18-03 governing rules and standards of decorum and civility during legislative meetings.
Protocol for attending a virtual committee meeting
All virtual committee meetings can be viewed on the Wyoming Legislature’s YouTube channel. You may access the Legislature’s YouTube channel here or by going to www.youtube.com and searching “Wyoming Legislature.”
You can register to participate in the Zoom meeting for each committee by clicking the “testify” button provided for each committee meeting on the Legislature’s Calendar page. Those not wishing to offer testimony are encouraged to watch via the Legislature's YouTube channel due to the limited number of people who may be in the Zoom meeting.
If you would like to address the committee in the Zoom meeting, use the “raise hand” function at the appropriate time when the chairman calls for public comment. Staff will then modify your attendee's credential at which point you will need to have video turned on and microphone unmuted. Following testimony, staff will modify your attendee's credentials again.
Staying up to date
Sign up for the Legislature’s e-mail subscription service where you will receive notifications when public comment forms become available.
Follow the Wyoming Legislature on Twitter @WYLegislature
Providing written materials to the committee at an in-person meeting during the legislative session
Entities or individuals who wish to submit written materials to a committee, please email the completed committee handout form and your documents to each member of the committee, and also email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In your email, please include the committee name, meeting date, document author, and document provider.
Legislator email addresses can be found here.
If attending a meeting in person, please give the handout form and a copy of your handout to the committee staff. Bring enough copies of your handout for the committee members, audience and staff. Please also email an electronic copy to email@example.com.
Please email electronic handouts at least one day prior to the committee meeting.
Other helpful information
The agenda for each committee meeting can be found on the Legislature’s website. Click here.
If you wish to video record, audio record, or take photographs during the committee meeting you need to advise the chairman in advance of the meeting.
If you plan to use large video or audio equipment, you will need to obtain advance approval from the committee chairman regarding the location of the equipment.
How do I make an effective presentation to the committee?
Prepare a handout with a summary of your points, before you begin, hand out all of the copies to the chairman or committee staff.
Be brief and don’t repeat what another speaker has said. If your statement is similar to previous comments, you may simply state that you agree with a previous speaker.
2023 Legislative Bills
An Article about HB0018: https://cowboystatedaily.com/2023/01/17/proposed-law-would-expand-alert-system-for-adults-similar-to-amber/
An Article encompassing bills that relate to Mental Health: https://cowboystatedaily.com/2023/01/31/mental-health-bills-moving-thru-wyoming-legislature-but-where-is-money-coming-from/
An Article about Medicaid Expansion: https://cowboystatedaily.com/2023/02/02/medicaid-expansion-bill-dies-again-becoming-annual-tradition-in-wyoming/
Check out this great advocacy toolkit from the Iowa DD Council!
POTUS Bipartisan Infrastructure Law
ABLE Age Adjustment Act
March 6, 2023
Senator Casey Introduces the Better Care Better Jobs Act
On January 26th, Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) introduced the Better Care Better Jobs Act (S.100). The bill is originally cosponsored by 39 Democratic Senators. The bill will increase Medicaid funding for Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) with a 10 percent increase in the federal match, increased funding for administrative activities, provide more benefits for direct care workers, improve oversight, make spousal impoverishment protections permanent, and will make the Money Follows the Person program permanent. The bill will improve HCBS for millions of people with disabilities, their families, and direct support professionals. The bill has been referred to the Senate Finance Committee.
Senator Casey (D-PA) introduced the Better Care Better Jobs Act in the Senate. This bill makes changes to and gives states more money so they can improve HCBS. The bill is currently in the Senate Finance Committee.
Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, Pensions Seeking Comments on Workforce Shortages
On February 16th, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions held a hearing “Examining Health Care Workforce Shortages: Where Do We Go From Here?” The hearing looked to address the causes of the current healthcare workforce shortages, and to look for potential solutions. The HELP Committee is looking to identify bipartisan solutions to address our nation’s healthcare workforce shortages and develop these ideas into legislation. The HELP Committee is requesting input from all stakeholders to better understand the drivers of healthcare workforce shortages and hear ideas on potential solutions. You can submit your written comments and suggestions to HealthWorkforceComments@help.senate.gov by March 20th.
On February 16th, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee held a hearing on how to increase the number of health care workers. The HELP committee is asking the public to submit ideas and solutions. You can submit to HealthWorkforceCommittee@help.senate.gov by March 20th.
Transformation to Competitive Integrated Employment Act
On February 27th, Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Senator Steve Daines (R-MT), Representative Cathy McMorris Rogers (R-WA-5), and Representative Bobby Scott (D-VA-3) introduced the Transformation to Competitive Integrated Employment Act (S. 533 / H.R. 1263). The bill will phase-out the use of subminimum wage that is currently legal under Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The bill will also provide technical assistance to assist employers in transforming their business models to support people with disabilities in competitive integrated employment.
The introduction of this bill comes shortly after the U.S. Government Accountability Office released a report titled Subminimum Wage Program: DOL Could Do More to Ensure Timely Oversight on the lack of oversight for subminimum wage programs.
This bill that will stop employers from paying people with disabilities less than minimum wage. Current law allows certain employers to pay workers with disabilities below the minimum wage. This bill will stop this from happening, so people with disabilities can have jobs and careers that pay a living wage.
The National Center on People with Developmental Disabilities and Mental Health Conditions Seeks Steering Committee
The Administration for Community Living (ACL) has launched a new Center to improve support for people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (I/DD) who have mental health conditions. The Center through a cooperative agreement with the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services is guided by people with lived experience and “will focus on capacity building by supporting state agencies with policy development, service design, and service coordination resources.”
The Center is recruiting for its steering committee. The steering committee of 12 people will meet 4 times per year. Steering committee members and, if needed, their support staff will be paid to participate. If you are interested in joining the committee, email firstname.lastname@example.org by March 17th. Learn more about the Center.
ACL has started a new Center to support people with I/DD who also have mental health conditions. The new Center is looking for members to join a committee to help plan the work of the Center. If you are interested in joining the committee, email email@example.com by March 17th.
New Resource: Need Updated Data about People with Disabilities?
The Institute on Disability at the University of New Hampshire (NH UCEDD) has released the 2023 Annual Disability Statistics Compendium, Annual Disability Statistics Supplement, and State Reports for County-level Data. The web-based tools provide a range of disability statistics.
If not registered, register to vote.
Learn how to vote.
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.
Use AUCD's guide to disability policy campaign issues.
Use AUCD's plain language guide to voting.
Watch Tuesday's with Liz's episode on voting.
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:
This link will show how Food Stamps could be affected in a shutdown:
This link will show how housing assistance could be affected by a shutdown:
This link will show how the mail could be affected by a shutdown:
Here is a link to the IRS contingency plan and an article explaining how a shutdown could affect your tax return:
Here are two links specific to how a government shutdown could affect Wyoming:
Casper Star Tribune Article:
Wyoming Public Media: