On this episode of "Resource Central," host Joe Reinecker talks to Ed Viers. Viers is an Independent Living Coordinator (ILC) from the Fredonia SKIL office. Here he talks about the annual customer appreciation picnic, which was held on the sixth of October, as well as upcoming events in Fredonia.
Yesterday night the Senate passed their FY 2018 budget resolution with a 51-49 vote. What comes next could have a big impact on our community, and will require us to once again ramp up our advocacy efforts. That’s because the main goal for this year’s budget is to set the stage for a major tax cut bill, which will increase the deficit and lead to dangerous cuts to Medicaid, Medicare, and other programs our lives and independence rely on.
The Senate budget resolution is a plan – not a law – so the budget itself doesn’t make changes to funding or the tax code. Rather, the budget resolution provides instructions that pave the way for Congress to pass their tax cut legislation using the reconciliation process, meaning it will only require a simple majority of votes. We’ve seen the GOP’s tax reform priorities (link below), and it’s clear that the Senate intends to use this process to pass tax cut legislation that will benefit the wealthy and profitable corporations while significantly increasing the federal deficit and negatively impacting everyone else.
Tax cuts don’t pay for themselves. The budget resolution will increase the federal deficit by $1.5 trillion, and it assumes over $5 trillion in cuts to services over the next decade. With numbers like these, no programs are safe. Congress has shown us time and again that they are intent on slashing Medicaid, and unsurprisingly, their tax plan will provide them with the opportunity to do just that. The Senate budget calls for trillions of dollars in cuts to mandatory programs (which includes programs like Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security). Much of the remainder will come from non-defense discretionary funding, which includes other programs we rely on like the Independent Living Program, housing assistance, and education. If this tax plan becomes law, people with disabilities, poor people, and other marginalized communities will be significantly harmed, while wealthy people and corporations reap the benefits.
Late-night changes to the budget resolution were intended to reconcile the Senate and House budgets, and the House is expected to vote on and pass the same budget next week. That said, the budget is just the first step. Our goal is to stop the tax bill that will lead to cuts to the programs people with disabilities need.
We will continue to monitor these efforts as they progress. We’ll continue to follow progress on the tax bill as well as appropriations, and we will keep you informed of any new developments. One thing is for sure: a plan that will result in trillions of dollars in cuts to the programs we rely on is not good for our country. But the disability community has demonstrated that we are powerful, and together, we will work to stop this.
For additional information:
• Senate FY 2018 Budget Resolution (PDF)
• Senate Resources on the Budget Resolution
• Tax Reform Framework (PDF) from the Trump Administration, the House Committee on Ways and Means, and the Senate Committee on Finance
SKIL is the ONLY organization in Kansas which has signed this letter!
I sure there are more that can sign up!
Thank you to those of you who have already signed on to NCIL’s Letter Opposing the ADA Education and Reform Act (H.R. 620). For those of you who did not sign-on the first time around, we are opening the letter back up to allow for additional signatories. We are hoping for AT LEAST 150 additional organizations to sign on, so please spread this request far and wide!
As a reminder, H.R. 620 was introduced by Representative Ted Poe of Texas. It would create significant obstacles for people with disabilities to enforce their rights under Title III of the ADA to access public accommodations and would impede their ability to engage in daily activities and participate in mainstream society.
On July 26, 2017, millions of people with disabilities throughout this country celebrated the 27th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). Unfortunately, many in the business community decided to celebrate the anniversary by diminishing this historic civil rights legislation through a letter of support for the ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017 (H.R. 620). Their letter supporting this extremely dangerous legislation, which was sent to Congress, was titled It’s Time to Restore the Integrity of the ADA (PDF). NCIL’s response to their letter was sent to Representatives Paul Ryan (Speaker of the House) and Nancy Pelosi (Minority Leader).
We are looking to add additional signatories to this letter, so we are opening it back up. We strongly encourage you to add your organization as a signatory! The deadline to sign on is Wednesday, November 1, 2017.
• Add your organization as a signatory
Please join us as we fight this dangerous bill.
The Kansas Youth Leadership Forum for Students with Disabilities (KSYLF) is currently searching for motivated young leaders to attend the eighteenth annual forum held July 9-14, 2018 at Washburn University in Topeka. We are also searching for adults to serve as volunteers for the week of the KSYLF.
The KSYLF is an annual conference that is heading into its eighteenth year serving students with disabilities across the state. During the forum, delegates enjoy a week full of learning, fun, friends, and, most of all, a new sense of empowerment! Through various large sessions, delegates are able to hear from community leaders on such topics as disability history, advocacy, goal setting, leadership, resources, and much more. Students are also able to share life experiences, goals, and ideas during breakout sessions with small groups. By week's end, all delegates will have stated their future plans and career goals in their very own Personal Leadership Plan.
Aside from large and small group sessions, students participate in a variety of fun activities as well. A trip to the Capitol is always a highlight of the week. Students are able to tour the Capitol building, as well as participate in a legislative activity in the Senate Chambers. Other activities include a mentor luncheon where delegates are paired with an adult from their area who has a similar career interest, and a talent show where participants are able to share their unique abilities with the group. Other fun activities include a recreation session, real life fair, a barbecue, and a dance, which is always a delegate favorite!
All students who are interested in attending the KSYLF must meet the following criteria:
• Reside in Kansas.
• Have a disability as defined with the Americans With Disabilities Act.
• Be in the 11th or 12th grade as of December 31, 2017. Please note: Students who are in an 18-21 transition program qualify to apply as well.
• Have demonstrated leadership potential or interest in school and the community.
There will be no cost for students who are selected to attend. All lodging, food, and accommodations are paid for through KSYLF funds. Accommodations such as personal care attendants, sign language interpreters, large print or Braille materials, and other accommodations will be provided for those delegates who need them.
Students must fill out an application that will be reviewed through a competitive selection process. About 20 - 25 delegates will be selected to attend. The delegate application deadline for the 2018 Forum is December 15, 2017.
KSYLF is also accepting applications for volunteers for our 2018 Forum. We are searching for committed, enthusiastic people who are willing to devote a week to this great program. Do you have the skills and passion to help facilitate groups and motivate youth with disabilities? Then consider serving as a volunteer at this year's KSYLF.
Past volunteers, KSYLF alumni, and new volunteers are encouraged to apply! Volunteer applicants must fill out our application form, as well as two background checks, and send to the KYEA office. Volunteer applications are due by February 5, 2018.
Apply to be a KSYLF Delegate or Volunteer
Learn more about the Kansas Youth Leadership Forum
The federal agency that oversees Medicaid has agreed to a one-year extension of Kansas’ $3.2 billion KanCare program, which provides managed care services to the state’s Medicaid population.