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 Daily beginning 3/1/21

For a calendar and links to live sessions, please visit https://wyoleg.gov/Calendar/20210304/Meeting

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: April 6, 2021


Yesterday, the House Committee on Education and Labor introduced the Transformation to Competitive integrated Employment Act (HR2373). This bipartisan bill calls for the phase-out of 14(c) with a simultaneous investment in resources to support states and employers to transition workers with disabilities into fully competitive and integrated employment in their communities.

In 2021, disability rights law, the modernization of the business marketplace, and advances in available community employment supports make 14(c) no longer necessary or acceptable. Support HR2373!

#RealWorkRealPay

#EmploymentFirst

The bill authorizes two competitive grant programs to support states and employers to strengthen and expand their competitive integrated employment service delivery system and the phase-out of subminimum wage programs.


Employers must gradually increase wages from 60% of the minimum wage beginning 6 months after the enactment of the Act and up to the full minimum wage beginning 4 years after the first increase. During the phase-out, no new certificates may be issued to employers.


The bill authorizes an appropriation of $300 million for fiscal years 2020 through 2025. Additionally, states successfully completing a grant will receive a 25 percent increase in Supported Employment appropriations for five years following successful completion of the grant.


Covid 19 Relief

President Biden announced on March 29, 2021, that the Administration for Community Living (ACL) and the CDC will be working to increase COVID-19 vaccine access for people with disabilities. $100 million in grants will be issued to help deal with the significant barriers to vaccination that people with disabilities are experiencing. $4 Million dollars will go to UCEDDs working to meet needs in their states and territories. The funding will be used to assist individuals with scheduling vaccine appointments, provide transportation to vaccine sites, direct support services needed to attend vaccine appointments, connection to in-home vaccination options, and education about the importance of receiving the vaccine.


Appropriations

Members of Congress are currently seeking your input on Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 priorities. Now is the time for network directors, faculty, partners, trainees, families and allies to educate their members of Congress about why investments in programs that support people with disabilities are important.


Opportunity for Input: Home and Community-Based Services

Congresswoman Dingell (D-MI), Senator Hassan (D-NH), Senator Casey (D-PA), and Senator Brown (D-OH) released a discussion draft of the HCBS Access Act and are requesting feedback from stakeholders. The draft bill would mandate Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) in Medicaid to provide services, create national minimum requirements for HCBS, and make it possible to improve upon those services and the direct support professionals workforce. To build on the discussion draft, the offices are currently seeking feedback on:

  • Provider pay and rate structures of states for HCBS;

  • Workforce development, including but not limited to wages and benefits for direct service workers and personal care attendants as well as training and recruitment;

  • HCBS infrastructure in states that support family caregivers, provider agencies, and independent providers, including but not limited to housing, transportation, employment, and enrollment systems and processes;

  • Other related policies and programs such as Money Follows the Person and Spousal Impoverishment Protections; and

  • Many other critical items to further expand and improve access to HCBS for those who desire the supports.

Plain language:

  • Lawmakers are working on a bill to improve Home and Community Based Services across the country. They want to hear from you about what you need and any ideas you have.



Voting Rights

On Wednesday, the House of Representatives passed the For the People Act (H.R.1) entirely along party lines (220-210). The sweeping measure would require all states to offer mail-in voting and early voting, institute nationwide automatic voter registration, curtail voter ID laws, limit partisan gerrymandering, and overhaul campaign finance laws. The majority of the provisions included in H.R. 1 will positively impact all voters in America, including voters with disabilities. However, the paper ballot mandate included in the bill is of concern to voters with disabilities. The ability to mark, verify, and cast a paper ballot privately and independently is currently not an accessible option for all voters. The bill now heads to the Senate, where it is expected to face opposition from Republican Senators. The Senate Rules and Administration Committee will hold a hearing on the For the People Act on Wednesday, March 24, 2021. Senate Democrats would need ten Republicans to support the bill in order for it to pass.

Plain language:

  • Congress is working on a bill to make it easier for people to vote in elections.






Voting

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