Take Action is a new way to stay in touch with your representatives regarding legislation that may impact you. While it is a national tool, DAWN, has developed it to focus on Wisconsin Legislation. Visit www.dawninfo.org to stay on top of important legislation.
The Wisconsin Legislative Notification System provides you the opportunity to follow important legislation through daily or weekly e-mails for specific legislative activities. You can choose items by Proposal, Committee, Author or Subject and can select the activities for which you would like to receive notifications. It's your future! Get involved! Stay involved! Sign up today, visit http://Notify.legis.state.wi.us.
Partners in Making Your Case is a free, self-paced online course that will give you tips on how to communicate your needs with your lawmakers.
From Disability Rights of Wisconsin comes the following notice.
"You will notice changes at the polls when you go to vote on Tuesday, February 21st at the Wisconsin spring primary! You will also notice changes to the absentee ballot process. For the first time, you will be required to show your voter ID when you vote. There are a few exceptions that voters with disability community should pay particular attention to. For more information, contact the Disability Rights Wisconsin or call (800) 928-8778 or (888/758-6049 (TTY), 8:30am-5:00pm weekdays and from 7am-8pm on election days.If you are unsure where you vote or what is on the ballot, you can look up your polling site, what will be on your ballot, and other important information at the Wisconsin Voter Public Access website." For more information on voting, visit our NHU Guide on Voting in the State of Wisconsin for Individual Voters with Disabilities.
If you do not have a photo ID for the purposes of voting, you may obtain a State ID, but to receive this ID for free, YOU MUST REQUEST FROM THE DOT THAT THE CARD BE PROVIDED WITHOUT CHARGE (FOR FREE) FOR THE PURPOSES OF VOTING!!!!! The DOT will not offer the ID for free unless you request it!!!!!!!
Provisions in Wisconsin Act 23 allows an elector to obtain a free identification card from DOT if the applicant is eligible to obtain an identification card and if the elector is a U.S. citizen who will be at least 18 years of age on the date of the next election, and the elector requests that the card be provided without charge for purposes of voting. At the DOT center the elector must request that the card be provided without charge (free) for purposes of voting. The DOT will not offer the ID for free unless you request it.
YOU MUST REQUEST FROM THE DOT THAT THE CARD BE PROVIDED WITHOUT CHARGE FOR FREE FOR THE PURPOSES OF VOTING!!!!!
Tell this to everyone you know, someone may need or know someone who needs a State Photo ID for the purposes of voting.For more information on voting in the State of Wisconsin, visit our NHU Guide to Voting in the State of Wisconsin for Individual Voters with Disabilities
The biennial budget that Governor Walker signed into law in June includes a freeze on long-term care programs for adults with disabilities, including Family Care/IRIS. The freeze means that there will be no additional slots in these programs and that Family Care and IRIS will not continue to roll out in the counties that don’t yet have the program. The result of the freeze would be that many people with disabilities in Wisconsin would be placed on waiting lists for needed services. Analysts predict an increased use of institutional care in nursing homes.
In a recent interview posted by JSOnline, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has acknowledged that community and client-directed care are priorities for the state of Wisconsin. The Governor went on to explain that the caps on Family Care, mandated by the recently passed 2011-13 State Budget, are in place while an audit reveals the program's effectiveness at delivering care in the community. The Governor contends that some counties were not meeting the objectives of the program by directing clients towards more costly institutional care rather than home-based care. He supports lifting the caps so long as counties comply with the program's objectives. Check out the video interview and contact the Governor's office to encourage swift action:
Governor Scott Walker
PO Box 7863
Madison, WI 53707
The Survival Coalition of Wisconsin Disability Organizations, in its 2011-2013 Biennial Budget Report Card, has found that the most recent state budget disproportionately harms people with disabilities. Despite the legislators call that we "all" must sacrafice for the sake of Wisconsin's fiscal health, it is clear that some are sacraficing, if not suffering, more than others. Despite major cuts to education and health care, the budget calls for new or expanded tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy at a cost of more than $90 million over the biennium and $1.6 billion over the next 10 years. At the same time, programs for our poorest citizens are being cut and taxes on the working poor have been raised. In an effort to increase awareness among policy makers and advocates, the coalition has provided its assessment of the budget issues that directly affect Wisconsin's citizens with disabilities.
Specifically, the coalition has found the following losses for our citizens with disabilities:
Read the Coalition's 2011-2013 Biennial Budget Report Card in its entirety.
In a videotaped interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Monday (6/27), Governor Scott Walker indicated he hopes to do something about the Family Care caps by the end of the year. To watch the video, go to http://bcove.me/vnr6z463.The biennial budget that Governor Walker signed into law this week includes a freeze on long-term care programs for adults with disabilities, including Family Care/IRIS. The freeze means that there will be no additional slots in these programs and that Family Care and IRIS will not continue to roll out in the counties that don’t yet have the program. The result of the freeze would be that many people with disabilities in Wisconsin would be placed on waiting lists for needed services. Analysts predict an increased use of institutional care in nursing homes. Disability advocates are encouraging those interested in lifting the caps to contact the Governor’s office: Governor Scott Walker, PO Box 7863 Madison, WI 53707 or call (608) 266-1212 or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Wisconsin State Legislature has passed one of the most restictive voting laws for people with disabilities in the United States: the 2011 Wisconsin Act 23.
DAWN organizations have said, "Elections need to be safe and secure but at the same time they need to provide equal access to the voting process for all eligible voters. Disability organizations around the state believe that this legislation goes too far in its regulation of the voting process. Wisconsin should be proud of its tradition of high voter turnout. This legislation is among the most restrictive in the country and creates new barriers to voting for many people with disabilities."
During a time when the state is facing a budget crisis, legislators have enacted a law that will cost the people of the state $7 million dollars over 2 years (estimated by the nonpartisan Legilative Fiscal Bureau.) The state Legislature Joint Finance Committee has voted to provide over 1.5 million dollars to the Government Accountability Board to implement the new act to make computer upgrades, train poll workers and educate the public, however there are more costs to everyone such as costs for transportation to obtain the necessary photo ID or transportation to and purchase of copies of the necessary ID for each time one submits an absentee ballot.
The American Disability Act (ADA) was signed into law in order to change the standards of construction and access so that all people no matter their ability could have equal access. With its passage, we as a society have become more aware that a great assumption was made with standards of construction and access prior to the ADA. The Wisconsin Act is passed on similar assumptions - that everyone has a photo ID, that all people will be able to obtain one, that all people can leave their homes and go to a DOT service center to obtain one, that all people have timely transportation to a DOT service center, that all people can afford transportation, that all people have access to a photo copier, that all people will have transportation or that all will be able to go to where they can to use a photocopier or that all people can sign their name. Unfortunately it is left to us to educate our legislators who do not appear to be aware of the barriers to people with disabilities in exercising their right to vote or any awareness of how people access our state of Wisconsin DOT offices. Our Wisconsin legislators have made it much more difficult for people to vote!
We would like everyone to exercise their right to vote in the State of Wisconsin! See our Guide on Voting in Wisconsin 2011-2012 for information on when the Act will go into effect, what you will need at elections in 2011 before the 2012 Wisconsin Spring Primary. Find out more about what documents you will need to acquire a state ID, what documents you need to register to vote, and what you will need to vote in 2012.
Write your legislator on how this legislation will affect you and your right to vote. Other states are not requiring a copy of one's photo ID for absentee ballotting.
It is critical for Wisconsin citizens concerned about proposed caps to the long-term care system to take action before Tuesday, when the Joint Committee on Finance (JCF) will vote on the Family Care Cap. The Legislative Fiscal Bureau has presented JCF with several alternatives to choose from. JCF could also develop its own proposal.The alternative that lifts the Family Care Cap and continues expansion of the Program statewide is #6 in the Family Care Enrollment Cap paper. The cost of Alternative #6 totals approximately $97 million in state funding over the next two years. This cost could be paid for out of the $636 million in additional tax revenues identified by the Legislative Fiscal Bureau. The Board for People with Developmental Disabilities, Disability Rights Wisconsin, Survival Coalition, and many other aging and advocacy groups have endorsed two documents that outline a proposed strategy for lifting the long-term care caps. Keeping the Community Promise: Lifting the Cap on Long-Term Care in Wisconsin is available at http://tinyurl.com/4xhau36 and Lift the Cap on Long-Term Care: A Funding Proposal is available at http://tinyurl.com/3kmxj5y JCF members have received both of these documents.
DAWN has released the following information on Assembly Bill 110 which would give vouchers to parents of children with special needs that they could use to attend a private school. The bill is modeled after legislation passed in Florida and Ohio. The outcomes in Florida and Ohio are schools that are highly segregated and which do not accept students with the most significant needs. The vouchers also drain funding from the local public schools since funding is reduced for every voucher issued. Parents that accept the vouchers lose all of their rights. For instance, Individualized Education Plans, guarantees of progress, outcomes, and least restrictive environment would no longer be requirements for special needs children. The history of AB 110 is located at legis.wisconsin.gov/2011/data/AB110hst.html and the text is at legis.wisconsin.gov/2011/data/AB-110.pdf. AB 110 is having a hearing before the Assembly Committee on Education on Tuesday, May 3rd, at 10:00 am in Room 417 North of the State Capitol. If you are unable to attend the hearing in person, you can voice your opinions to the Committee Chair, Representative Steve Kestell, at Rep.Kestell@legis.state.wi.us or (608) 266-8530.
We are sending an important Wisconsin announcement to our members, about the Wisconsin Voting Photo ID Assembly Bill 7. If you do not live in the State of Wisconsin, please disregard this e-mail and we apologize for the inconvenience. If you live in the State of Wisconsin these hearings are a good opportunity to comment on the budget and submit your comments.
On Wednesday, April 27, 2011 the Wisconsin State Assembly Committee on Election and Campaign Reform will hold a public hearing on Assembly Bill 7, also known as the Photo ID Bill. This bill would require a voter to show photo identification before being able to vote. People with disabilities will be affected by this bill.
DAWN has released the following alert.
Elections need to be safe and secure but at the same time they need to provide equal access to the voting process for all eligible voters. Disability organizations around the state believe that this bill goes too far in its regulation of the voting process. Wisconsin should be proud of its tradition of high voter turnout. If this bill is passed, it would be among the most restrictive in the country and would create new barriers to voting for many people with disabilities.
- People with disabilities currently vote at a rate that is 10 to 15
percent below the rate of the general population.
- Wisconsin has made recent significant progress in encouraging people with disabilities to vote.
- Compared to the general population, it is much for difficult for people with disabilities to acquire photo identification, as they face additional barriers including access to transportation and other hidden costs.
- This bill would eliminate the option for an individual to have their residence corroborated. Many individuals with disabilities rely on this option in order to vote.
- For more information on these and other points, see the "position paper" link below.
When: The public hearing will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Where: The North Hearing Room (2nd Floor North) of the State Capitol in Madison.
What: Public testimony will be limited to two (2) minutes per speaker. You can also submit written comments to the Committee at Rep.Tauchen@legis.wisconsin.gov, or sent via U.S. mail to: Rep. Gary Tauchen, Room 13 West, State Capitol, Madison, WI 53702. All written testimony must include name (first and last), along with mailing address to be included into the official record.
For the complete meeting notice, go to: http://tinyurl.com/3kfzlk9
For a position paper on this topic from a coalition of disability organizations, go to: http://tinyurl.com/3l5lecu
New Horizons Un-Limited sent a 2011-13 Wisconsion State Budget Position Paper in support of the Survival Coalition and other organizations for people with disabilities position on the Wisconsin Legislature's Joint Finance Committee Biennial Budget. To view the paper click on the link above. You can still write to your legislator or write letters to the editor of your local newspaper or other media.
Thursday, April 7 (10am-6pm), UW-Stevens Point (Quandt Fieldhouse, 2050 Fourth Street) Stevens Point
Friday, April 8 (10am-5pm), UW-Superior campus, Wessman Arena, 2701 Catlin Avenue, Superior
Monday, April 11 (10am-6pm), State Fair Park, Expo Center Hall A, 8200 W. Greenfield Ave(Enter Gate 4 for Parking)West Allis
Wednesday, April 13 (10am-6pm), Pickard Civic Auditorium, 1275 Tullar Road, Neenah
The Democratic members of the Joint Finance Committee will hold additional hearings. Take note that the Republicans, who make up the majority of the Finance Committee, may or may not be present at these hearings:
Saturday, April 9, (10:30 am-4:30 pm) UW-Oshkosh, Reeve Memorial Union, Oshkosh
Saturday, April 9, (10:00 am – 4:00 pm) Chippewa Valley Technical College, Business Education Center, Eau Claire
Friday, April 15, (1:00 pm – 7:00 pm) UW-Baraboo Gymnasium, Baraboo
Monday, April 18, (1:00 pm – 7:00 pm) Northcentral Technical College, Heath Sciences Building, Wausau
Saturday, April 16, (10:00 am – 4:00 pm) Brown County Central Library, Green Bay
Saturday, April 16, (10:00 am – 1:00 pm) Nicolet Technical College, Learning Resources Building Auditorium, Rhinelander
Wednesday, April 20, (1:00 pm – 6:00 pm) Blackhawk Technical College, North Commons, Janesville
Monday, April 25, (1:00 pm – 7:00 pm) UW-La Crosse, Cartwright Center, La Crosse
Monday, April 25, (1:00 pm – 7:00 pm) Appleton Public Library, Appleton
Monday, May 9, (10:00 am – 3:00 pm) Gateway Technical College Auditorium, Kenosha
For more information on the Joint Finance Committee's public hearing schedule go to http://legis.wisconsin.gov/lfb/jfc/schedule.htm
The Wisconsin Legislature Joint Finance Committee hearings provide an opportunity to testify before legislators (who will make spending decisions) on items like Medicaid, Special Education, Public Transit, Mental Health, Long Term Care, Corrections, and Local Access to Benefits. The committee will take testimony at these hearings, however they draw a large crowd and one does not get very much time to speak. There are other ways to provide your input. If you decide to testify, remember you will only have 3 minutes and so it is best to be prepared. For more information on Tips for Testifying:Wisconsin Council on Children and families offers 5 Steps for a Successful Meeting with a Legislator and Helpful Hints for Different Kinds of Advocacy.
The Wisconsin Joint Finance Committee will stop taking testimony at the end time listed, be prepared to provide your input in other ways. Bring a 16 copies of your comments for each committee member to the hearing and submit them to the Committee.
Submit your comments as soon as possible or by April 15. To send written comments via e-mail, send to: email@example.comTo send written comments via US mail, send to: Joe Malkasian, Room 305 East, State Capitol, Madison, WI 53703.
Contact Governor Walker and your Wisconsin State Legislators: To call or email your legislators, find your Wisconsin State legislators and their contact information: Who Are My Legislators?
"On April 5, 2011, voters statewide will be choosing a Wisconsin State Supreme Court judge. Voters also will be choosing local officials, such as circuit court judges and town, village, city, county, and school board officials. It is very important that the disability community takes part in this election.
The two candidates for Wisconsin State Supreme Court judge are David Prosser and JoAnne Kloppenburg. David Prosser’s campaign website is http://www.justiceprosser.com/ and JoAnne Kloppenburg’s campaign website is http://www.kloppenburgforjustice.com/
While bills to require a photo ID at the polls are currently being considered by the Legislature, the law has not yet changed. "Polls are open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. People already registered to vote just need to give poll workers a name and address. Photo identification is not required. People can still register the day of the election at the polling place. A document, such as a utility bill, Wisconsin photo I.D., or rental lease, is needed to prove where the voter lives."
"Disability Rights Wisconsin has a toll-free voter assistance hotline if you have questions or encounter trouble voting at the polls. The toll-free number is 1-800-928-8778 (voice) or 1-888-758-6049 (TTY). The Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities has a publication about voting rights available for download from http://www.wi-bpdd.org/publications/pub_by_category.cfm?catid=26"
If you also have concerns about the Medicaid program, contact your state representative and state senator as soon as possible.
To find out who are your state representative and senator, go to Legislators Wisconsin
The following has been sent from an action alert by the DAWN (Disability Advocates Wisconsin Network):
The State Senate and State Assembly will vote on the Governor's Budget Repair Bill to fix the budget deficit in the current fiscal year this week. The bill contains an important change that will impact Medicaid and the 1.1 million Medicaid recipients across the state. The bill as amended will allow the Governor and Joint Finance Committee to make changes to the Medicaid program without legislative oversight or public input.
The changes in the Governor's Budget Repair Bill could be to recipients of Medicaid including eligibility for children, parents and uninsured adults, reduced services and benefits in programs that serve elderly and persons with disabilities, including BadgerCare, SeniorCare, Family Care, children's waivers and other vital programs or changes in co-pays and premiums without legislative oversight or any public input. For example, the Governor and Joint Finance Committee could decide to increase cost sharing by program participants and allow providers to deny services to people who couldn’t pay the cost share. These changes would have an enormous impact on adults and children with disabilities and others who depend on these services every day.
If you also have concerns about the Medicaid program, contact your state representative and state senator as soon as possible. They may be voting on the budget repair bill as early as Tuesday of this week.
Disability advocates believe that any changes to the Medicaid program must be made with public input and the involvement of the entire legislature. They believe that these Medicaid provisions should be taken out of the budget repair bill.
To find out who are your state representative and senator, go to Legislators Wisconsin
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