Happy New Year! The Progress Center reopened on January 2, 2018 after a New Year’s Break. We are ready to fight for independence and work with people with disabilities to secure the tools they need to access opportunity and navigate barriers. Please stop by our offices or give the office a call if you need anything.
Current Issues in the Disability Community:
State of the State: Soon, Governor Rauner will give an the annual State of the State address for Illinois. This will be followed by the Illinois Budget Address. Progress Center advocates, and disability advocates around Illinois will follow along closely, monitoring what they mean for the disability community in Illinois. View the Progress Center Statement in Response at this link. Click here for the statement.
Candidates Forum Watch Party: On February 9, 2018, Progress Center will host a Watch Party for the Illinois Attorney General Candidates Forum. Click here for more information.
#TaxonDisability: — In December, both the US House and US Senate passed a taxed bill. The tax bill is expected to increase the deficit, which will lead to substantial cuts to Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security Services. This is a substantial threat to services and supports for people with disabilities. Also, the tax bill includes a provision that eliminates the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act. As a result, premiums for people with disabilities will increase. The disability community fought ferociously, alongside other groups, to stop the legislation, and will continue to advocate to protect the health and independence of people with disabilities. Here is a link to a statement from the National Disability Rights Network, with more information about the bill and the impact of the bill. Click here for link.
Throughout last year and this year, disability advocates and disability allies were key in the effort to end the budget impasse and support community services that help people with disabilities live independently in their own homes. Though Illinois has a budget, there is still much work to do to protect the independence and rights of people with disabilities. Here are a few issues that disability advocates are working on now:
1. HR 620: The ADA Education and Reform Act. Though “ADA” is in the name of the legislation, this bill is no friend of disability rights. The proposed legislation would dismantle Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act and steal away the rights of people with disabilities. Read more about the legislation at this link: Click here for more information.
2. The Disability Integration Act: This legislation would support community integration across the country. It would require both public and private insurances that cover any kind of long term care to give equal coverage to home and community support services. Read more about the legislation at this link: Click here to read more.
3. The 2017 Tax Bills. On November 16, 2017, the US House passed a tax bill. The US Senate is now working on a tax bill. Both the House and the Senate version are devastating for the supports of people with disabilities. The Senate version would also cut key provisions of the Affordable Care Act. The loss of these provisions would mean the loss of health care for many people with disabilities. Here is more information from a blog post by Family Voices Indiana. This information is taken from AUCD. Click here for the blog post.
In case you missed it: