Lutheran Services in America Disability Network Introduces Disability Community Act in Response to the DOL Overtime Rule

Thursday, July 28, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Sarah Meek, smeek@lutheranservices.org

Lutheran Services in America Disability Network (LSA-DN) together with the American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR), Autism Speaks, the Autism Society, and United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) are proud to announce the introduction of the Disability Community Act (H.R. 5902) in the United States Congress. On July 14, 2016, Congressman Paul Tonko (D-NY) led the introduction of this bipartisan legislation in the House of Representatives with Congressman Steve Stivers (R-OH). The bill is also supported by the leaders of the Congressional Bipartisan Disabilities Caucus, Congressman Gregg Harper (R-MS) and Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI). 

The Disability Community Act of 2016 (H.R. 5902) is the legislative solution offered by supporters of the Save Our Services (S.O.S.) Campaign: Funding the Future of Disability Services. The S.O.S. Campaign was launched in response to concerns around implementation of the new Department of Labor overtime rules without additional funding in place for Medicaid-funded community living programs for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The bill, which includes a bipartisan provision to pay for its projected cost, would provide three years of temporary additional funding to ensure that the programs and the individuals served by them are protected.  In addition, the bill continues the efforts of Rosa’s Law enacted in 2010 by ensuring the use of proper terminology for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in legislative language while removing references to "mental retardation."

"The Disability Community Act is more than just a temporary funding bill that we have seen in years past," said Barbara Merrill, CEO of ANCOR, "It is a unified statement by Congress that we support people with disabilities and the services that provide them access to their greater community. Now is the time for us to reach out to our Members of Congress and ask them to join our Congressional champions in supporting their noble efforts to save our services."

"The Disability Community Act is one of many efforts to ensure that people with disabilities are able to reach their full potential by exploring their unique gifts, and in doing so fully engaging in strengthening our communities." Mark Hagen, Convener of LSA-DN Policy & Advocacy Team and Corporate Director for Public Policy at Bethesda Lutheran Communities.

H.R. 5902 has been referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee and can be considered when Congress returns from recess on September 6. For more information on the Disability Community Act, please see below.  

Click here to view the Disability Community Act H.R. 5902 
Click here to TAKE ACTION and access the Disability Community Act Grassroots Toolkit
Click here for more information about the SOS Campaign 

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LSA-DN is a nationwide association of Lutheran social ministry organizations, faith-based organizations, and Lutheran professionals supporting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and related conditions. LSA-DN includes 25 member organizations that provide support to more than 150,000 individuals with disabilities in 33 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. LSA-DN is a part of Lutheran Services in America (LSA), one of the largest health and human services networks in the country. For more information about LSA-DN and LSA, visit www.lutheranservices.org.

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