This election will have significant policy and fiscal issues that impact the very lives of every person with an intellectual and developmental disability on both the state and national levels. Public policy governs your health care, special education, employment, community living, day services and much more. All of these important services are going to be reviewed in Springfield and Washington for cuts and possible elimination!
As a result of the election, we have our work cut out for us particularly because there are so many new legislators we will have to educate about our important issues. There are about 39 new Senators and Representatives in the Illinois General Assembly. We have seven new Representatives in the United States Congress. Our plate is full because these newly elected officials know little about our important issues and their votes will impact every aspect of our lives. Advocates must meet with these newly elected officials. The sooner, the better!
Remember because of the new redistricting, most legislators have different areas that they now represent. If you are unsure who your Senator or Representatives, visit this website: http://www.elections.il.gov/
If you are a service provider, invite the newly elected legislators to tour and visit your organization.
If you are meeting your newly elected legislator in their office make sure you bring other families and/or self-advocates with you to the meeting.
The Arc will be developing talking points for you to use as we target newly elected Senate and House members. I am limiting my issues to five; as you might expect there are certainly more than five that facing us. Let me know your thoughts.
National Disability Issues for Newly Elected Members of the U.S. Congress:
The Fiscal Cliff which kicks in Jan, 2013 severe automatic cuts to education and disability services
New Revenues needed to protect disability services from cuts
Implementation of Health Care Reform, the Affordable Care Act