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Legislation: Wisconsin - 2014 Archives

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New Sign December 16th, 2014 - the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly passed the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act of 2014- It will now be up to the individual states to set up an ABLE program so you can use this tool to set up an account by the end of 2015.

Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act will allow people with disabilities (with an age of onset up to 26 years old) and their families the opportunity to create a tax-exempt savings account that can be used for maintaining health, independence and quality of life. In the past if you were born with Cerebral Palsy or Spina Bifida you were only allowed to keep $2000 to maintain eligibility for public assistance. Your parents could not save for costs related to raising a child with significant disabilities or a working age adult with disabilities. The ABLE savings account will allow individuals to supplement that which assistance will not cover for accessible housing and transportation, personal assistance services, assistive technology and health care not covered by insurance, Medicaid or Medicare. You will have the option to save up to $14,000 in a tax-free savings account, eliminating the $2,000 asset cap SSI and SSDI beneficiaries face. This could finally mean financial freedom!! The individual states will need to set up an ABLE program and hopefully you will be able to set up an account by the end of 2015. See above on how to contact your state representative to get this set up at the state level. For more information on the bill, see the National Disability Institute's article on the passage of this bill.

New Advocacy Alert! October 2014 - Wisconsin - Make Your Vote Count, and Vote on November 4th! YOU do not need to show your photo ID in order to vote November 4, 2014 from article written by Disability Rights Wisconsin

The following article is from Disability Rights Wisconsin: "The Supreme Court put a hold on requiring Photo ID in Wisconsin, so you do not need to show your photo ID in order to vote for this election. No one knows what will happen in future elections, but for now, you do not need a photo ID to vote in Wisconsin.

You can register to vote and vote early at your municipal clerk’s office between now and October 31st. You can also register to vote and vote at the polls on Election Day. If you are unsure if you are registered to vote, if you want to find out where your polling place is, how to contact your municipal clerk or what is on your ballot you can go to myvote. If you have questions about voting in Wisconsin and your rights, you can contact Disability Rights Wisconsin’s Voting Rights Hotline at 844/DIS-VOTE (844/347-8683). You can also access information including videos to show about voting in Wisconsin at the Wisconsin Disability Vote Coalition website listed above and Wisconsin Disability Vote Coalition Facebook page."

New Advocacy Alert! October 10, 2014 - Milwaukee, Wisconsin - U.S. Supreme Court Decision Blocks Wisconsin Voter Photo ID Law Late Thursday, October 9, 2014. A Wisconsin Voter Photo ID will not be required to vote November 4, 2014

The United States Supreme Court issued an order blocking implementation of Wisconsin's voter photo ID law for the November 4, 2014 General Election. More information about the impact of this decision will be posted as soon as it becomes available.

Any information on this website stating that voter photo ID is in effect for the November 4, 2014 General Election should be disregarded.

If you still wish to have a voter ID, here's a great graphic from Government Accountability Board (GAB) of what forms of ID are acceptable for voting

If you still want to obtain a photo ID as listed, be sure to get to your local Wisconsin Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for a state photo ID. If you live in a rural area and would like a State ID, find out when your nearest DMV is open. They might not be open many hours between now and Nov. 4. This is an excellent article from the Capitol Times, on the Wisconsin Voter ID The article includes a map showing the DMV locations, color coded by their weekly number of hours open averaged over a 52-week period, however it no longer required.

If you need more information on what you need to bring with you to the DMV to obtain a Wisconsin State ID, visit Obtaining a Wisconsin identification (ID) card

For more information on accessible voting, visit Voting in Wisconsin: A Guide for Citizens with Disabilities

New Advocacy Alert! July 10th, 2014 - Milwaukee, Wisconsin - Are you one of the 60,000 people that have become ineligible for BadgerCare? - Here is your chance to comment on the changes to BadgerCare.

DAWN has published an article about the opportunity to comment or send your comments to the DHS in Wisconsin about the changes in BadgerCare at a public hearing in Milwaukee on Thursday, July 10, 3:00 to 5:00 p.m., Greater Philadelphia Church of God in Christ, 2947 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Drive, Milwaukee, WI 53212.
The Department of Health Services (DHS) is holding this public forum to gather feedback on the recent income eligibility changes made to BadgerCare, which limit coverage of this Medicaid-funded health care program to individuals with incomes at or below 100% of the Federal Poverty Level.
Not able to attend the forum? Email your comments to: BCDemonstrationWaiver@dhs.wisconsin.gov
Or Mail your comments to: Al Matano, Division of Health Care Access And Accountability, P.O. Box 309, Madison, WI 53707-0309.
For more information, visit the DAWN article at July 10th Your Chance to Comment on Changes to BadgerCare

Advocacy Alert! July 8th, 2014 - State of Wisconsin will hold Public Demonstration of Voting Equipment at the Government Accountability Board (G.A.B.)

From 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Tuesday, July 8, 2014, at the Government Accountability Board, Board Room, 212 East Washington Avenue, 3rd, Madison, Wisconsin, the State of Wisconsin and the G.A.B. will be reviewing brand new accessible voting equipment and there will be a public demonstration for you to test the equipment!! The ExpressVote is the first new piece of accessible equipment submitted to the state for certification in a number of years. They want to make sure that the disability community has the opportunity to test the system before their review process is complete. For more information view the GAB's Meeting Notice - ExpressVote Public Demo.

Advocacy Alert! March 2014 - Survival Coalition and DAWN are asking you to Register Now for Disability Advocacy Day 2014

Meet with Your Legislators and Advocate for Disability Issues! Register now for Disability Advocacy Day 2014! Last year, more than 400 people from around Wisconsin met with their legislators and advocated for important disability issues. Participate in this year’s event and have your voice heard! The Survival Coalition of Wisconsin Disability Organizations is hosting Disability Advocacy Day in Madison on Wednesday, Mar. 19, 2014. Disability Advocacy Day connects you with your legislators so you can share your story and tell them what issues are important to you. Visit the following link for more Information and to Register.

Advocacy Alert! January 2014 - DAWN published the following article to Provide Your Input on DVR Services

Help improve employment outcomes: provide your input at a WRC meeting. The Wisconsin Rehabilitation Council or WRC (working on behalf of Wisconsin residents with disabilities) advises and assists the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) in the performance of its responsibilities in providing quality services to people with disabilities. The WRC meets quarterly in various locations throughout the state. Public comment is welcome throughout each meeting (see dates and locations below). For a complete agenda or to request special accommodations, please contact Kristin Rolling at 608-261-0077 at least five business days prior to the meeting.

2014 Meeting Dates: Apr. 24 - Green Bay, July 17 - Eau Claire, Oct. 16 - Milwaukee

Advocacy Alert! January 2014 - DAWN published article on DHS releases report on Family Care/IRIS to Legislature - Ask Joint Finance Committee Co-Chairs to expand Family Care!

DAWN has published the following article that a new report from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) shows Family Care expansion creates equity in long-term care supports statewide while also being cost-effective to taxpayers. The DHS concludes in their report that the expansion of Family Care, and the entitlement of support in homes and community-integrated settings, allows Wisconsin residents to receive cost-effective long-term care supports. Managed long-term care is the most effective strategy to meet the needs of Wisconsin's residents. Family Care expansion will eliminate waiting lists for 1,600 people in fifteen counties while reducing the growth of state spending by $34.7 million over the coming ten years. Are you one of the families waiting for Family Care in your county? Do you feel too many people in counties across the state are waiting for the expansion of Family Care/IRIS? Contact the Wisconsin Joint Finance Committee Co-Chairs Sen. Alberta Darling Sen.Darling@legis.wisconsin.gov and Rep. John Nygren Rep.Nygren@legis.wisconsin.gov that here is the report that it costs less for people with disabilities to live in their own homes and access community supports than to live in costly nursing homes.

Advocacy Alert! December 2013 -The Wisconsin Joint Finance Hearing on BadgerCare and Health Insurance Risk Sharing Plan

DAWN published the following article that The Wisconsin Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee will meet on Monday, December 2, 2013 to hear testimony on delaying the transition of 77,000 people from BadgerCare to the federal Affordable Care Act health exchanges and the dissolution of the Health Insurance Risk Sharing Plan (HIRSP).

The state has changed the eligibility standards for BadgerCare, which means about 77,000 people currently on BadgerCare will not be eligible for the program after January 1, 2014. These individuals would be required to purchase health insurance from the federal health care exchanges. Because the health care exchanges may not be fully operational, inaction by Joint Finance could result in 77,000 BadgerCare recipients not having health care coverage.

Delaying the changes to the BadgerCare program will mean that individuals who earn up to 133% of federal poverty level will continue to be eligible for Medicaid through BadgerCare, and waiting lists for people who earn up to 100% of the federal poverty level will continue until March 31, 2014. Contact your Senators on the Joint Finance Committee.

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