Posted on 03/29/18 in Advocacy
ONE: Bill in front of Senate which will amend the ADA
H.R. 620 ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017 has gone to the U.S. Senate floor for a vote. If approved, this bill would greatly weaken the rights of Americans living with a disability by no longer forcing businesses to immediately comply with accessibility laws. It seeks to amend the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 to promote compliance through education, to clarify the requirements for demand letters, to provide for a notice and cure period before the commencement of a private civil action, and for other purposes.
However, there is still time to prevent this bill from ever reaching a vote by achieving Senate cloture. You can help make your voice heard by contacting both Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) today. Tell them to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities and not support HR 620!
Sen. Sherrod Brown: 216-522-7272; https://www.brown.senate.gov/contact/email Sen. Robert Portman: 216-522-7095; https://www.portman.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact-form
TWO: Re-authorization of the Money Follows the Person Demonstration Program
Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) recently introduced S.2227 which re-authorizes the Money Follows the Person Demonstration Program, which promotes community-based care and services. This bill, known as the Ensuring Medicaid Provides Opportunities for Widespread Equity, Resources, and Care Act – or EMPOWER Care Act – boosts quality of life by helping Medicaid beneficiaries receive long-term services and support in their community or home, while at the same time saving taxpayer dollars in the process.
The program extended in this legislation provides states with funding and flexibility to help Medicaid beneficiaries, particularly elderly and disabled individuals, transition from institutional to home and community-based long-term care settings.
“I’m proud to continue my support for the Money Follows the Person program, by introducing the EMPOWER Care Act. Money Follows the Person has provided over 10,000 Ohioans with the opportunity to receive the care that they need in their homes and communities, and I will continue to ensure that all Ohioans can continue to have a choice in where they seek long-term care support,” said Sen. Portman.
A House companion bill, H.R. 5306, was also introduced by Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-KY) and Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI).
Contact your state representatives today and tell them to support this important legislation!
Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH): 216-522-4900; https://fudge.house.gov/email-me Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-OH): 330-737-1631; https://gibbs.house.gov/contact/email Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH): 216-767-5933; https://kaptur.house.gov/contact Rep. David Joyce (R-OH) 440-352-3939; https://joyce.house.gov/contact-me/ Rep. James Renacci (R-OH): 440-882-6779; https://renacci.house.gov/index.cfm/contact-form
THREE: RTA report with recommendations to keep RTA financially solvent
A recent report from the Regional Transportation Advisory Committee indicated that a sales tax or property tax increase might be needed to keep the greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) financially solvent and able to meet the needs of its Cuyahoga County residents, many of which include persons with disabilities.
The advisory committee also offered other options to increase funding for public transit, which include such actions as an increase in fares, a reduction of routes, fees on ride-share services, and more state and federal funding.
Further recommendations noted that RTA should continuously monitor how much of its para-transit services should be provided through private contract, and that RTA should recognize that demand for senior, disabled, and emergency services is going to increase and must act accordingly.
Voter approval would be needed for either tax. Keep up with RTA developments: https://www.facebook.com/CLEforTransit/