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 Update 2021

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 2021 legislative session begins January 12, 2021. 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 2021

The 66th General Session will reconvene January 27, 2021. Below are the current bills to review that could impact the disability community.

Updated 01/20/21

For a full list of bills, please visit https://wyoleg.gov/Legislation/2021




2021 bills in progress.xlsx

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


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 legdocs@wyoleg.gov.

  • 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 legdocs@wyoleg.gov.

  • 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.


66th Leadership and Committee Announcement.pdf

National News


In the News: December 21, 2020


End of Year Legislative Package

On Sunday night Congress approved a one-day extension of government funding to allow the final bill text of the coronavirus relief and omnibus package to be written. The package to be considered on Monday includes omnibus appropriations funding the government through September 30, 2021, a roughly $900 billion COVID relief package, multiple legislative extenders, and legislation that will end surprise billing for emergency and scheduled care.

Final language is not yet public, but we are hearing that COVID relief includes:

  • $600 direct ("stimulus") payments provided to individuals and children. Phases out starting at $75,000 annual income for individuals.

  • $300/week additional unemployment aid for 11 weeks - could last through at least March 14. Similarly, the program providing unemployment benefits for gig/contract/self-employed workers will be continued for 11 weeks.

  • An extension of CDC eviction moratorium through the end of January, and $25 billion in emergency rental assistance.

Does NOT include:

  • Funding for home and community-based services (HCBS) to support people with disabilities and older adults at home and to keep them out of nursing homes and other institutions.

  • Provision to ensure adult dependents qualify for stimulus payments.

Plain language:

  • Congress is working to pass a bill that funds government programs, provides some help related to the COVID emergency and allows important programs like Money Follows the Person to continue.

What it means to you:

  • Agreements in principle are likely to prevent a government shut down and to ensure some critical COVID relief. Education about the continued needs for people with disabilities in the COVID emergency will be needed in the new Congress and beyond.


Plain language:

  • Congress is trying to pass another COVID-19 relief package before going on their holiday break a t the end of the week.


COVID-19 Vaccine

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the emergency use of a second COVID-19 vaccine developed by Moderna on Friday and national shipments of the vaccine begin today. The approval of the Moderna vaccine follows the approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine approved the previous week. Vaccination of Phase 1a priority population groups is underway, although it is important to note that priority groups may differ in each state. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have issued guidelines as to who should be eligible for Phase 1 (a, b, and c) vaccination, it is states that designate allocation priorities.

The CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has issued the following vaccine allocation guidance for Phase 1:

  • Phase 1a: frontline health workers, residents and staff of congregate care settings

  • Phase 1b: frontline essential workers, persons over 75 years-old

  • Phase 1c: remaining essential workers, persons over 65 years-old, persons with high-risk medical conditions

In the coming weeks federal, state, and local entities will continue to update guidance and plans related to distribution. The voices of advocacy will continue to be needed to educate and ensure the vaccine is equitably distributed and that everyone has the information they need to understand their vaccination decision.


  • The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccination for immediate, emergency use late Friday evening. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have issued guidelines as to who should be Phase 1 vaccination priorities. It is states, however, that designate priorities. In the coming weeks federal, state, and local entities will continue to update guidance and plans related to distribution. The voices of advocacy will continue to be needed to educate and ensure the vaccine is equitably distributed and that everyone has the information they need to understand their vaccination decision.

  • Learn more about what the COVID-19 vaccine that has been approved:

    1. FDA Emergency Use Authorization for Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine.

    2. Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendations.


Campaign 2020

As of December 15, 2020 the Electoral College has confirmed Joe Biden for the United States President.




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





State News