LSA-DN Weekly Update

Disability Network News
Friday, February 14, 2020


Hot Topics in Federal Policy Call: February 25, 2020

Please join the Lutheran Services in America public policy team and your fellow members for an update and discussion of the current hot topics in federal policy and what that means for you. This is part of a recurring series of calls.

Joining us this month is guest speaker Robin Rudowitz, Vice President and Co-Director of the Program on Medicaid and the Uninsured at the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Register HERE for our call
Tuesday, February 25 at 2 pm Eastern
**Note the later than usual start time**

More from Lutheran Services in America

New Medicaid Waivers Threaten Healthcare Coverage For Millions

On January 30 CMS Administrator Seema Verma of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a plan that would allow states to use the Medicaid waiver process to fundamentally alter Medicaid as we know it. The CMS proposal would make sweeping, detrimental changes in eligibility, health benefits, drug coverage, and premium costs for people who now receive Medicaid healthcare coverage as part of the program’s expansion which occurred under the Affordable Care Act.

More from Lutheran Services in America


House lawmakers scold DOD leaders for lack of progress on improving program for special needs families

After accusing the government officials in charge of the military’s Exceptional Family Member Program of “happy talk,” but no action, Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., vowed Wednesday to bring the six executives back to Capitol Hill every three months until they’ve met all the recommendations made for their programs by the Government Accountability Office nearly two years ago.

“We are going to be hawks on this,” said Speier, chairwoman of the subpanel on military personnel for the House Armed Services Committee.

More from Stars and Stripes

Trump hits Medicaid, food stamps in push to slash domestic spending

President Donald Trump‘s budget request on Monday will pitch billions of dollars in cuts to non-defense spending despite a budget deal he already negotiated with Congress, in addition to seeking major savings by targeting the federal safety net, a senior administration official told POLITICO on Sunday.

Trump also will ask Congress for a slight spending increase for the Pentagon as he releases his $4.8 trillion budget blueprint for the upcoming fiscal year.

More from Politico


Alaska will no longer allow workers with disabilities to be paid less than minimum wage

As of Friday, Alaskan businesses will no longer be allowed to pay disabled workers less than the minimum wage, which is currently $9.84 an hour.

“Workers who experience disabilities are valued members of Alaska’s workforce,” said the state’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development Acting Commissioner Greg Cashen, in a press release. “They deserve minimum wage protections as much as any other Alaskan worker.”

More from Think Progress

Research & Reports

Report: Turnover for direct support staff for Americans with disabilities reaches 'crisis' level

The number of workers with intellectual and developmental disabilities integrated into the workforce has largely plateaued in the past year, and the national turnover rate for those providing direct support for such people is nearing 45 percent, according to a Thursday report from the ANCOR Foundation and United Cerebral Palsy (UCP).

The groups’ 2020 edition of their Case for Inclusion report, exclusively provided to The Hill, found that the percentage of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) in integrated employment — that is, those working alongside abled people and earning market-driven wages — increased only 1 percentage point to 20 percent over the past year.

More from The Hill

Resources, Opinions & Opportunities

'Peanut Butter Falcon' Star Zack Gottsagen Becomes First Actor With Down Syndrome to Present at Oscars

"The Peanut Butter Falcon" star Zack Gottsagen made history as the first Oscars presenter with Down Syndrome, taking the stage with his co-star Shia LaBeouf  on Sunday to present the award for Best Live Action Short.

While it's great to see LaBeouf back in Hollywood's good graces — 2019 was a comeback year for the actor who also wrote and starred in Alma Har'el's "Honey Boy" — audiences might not have been familiar with Gottsagen.

More from MSN

Upcoming Events

LSA-DN 2020 Spring Meeting
April 22-24, 2020
Washington, D.C.

LSA-DN 2020 Summer Meeting
August 5-7, 2020
Cincinnati, Ohio


For more information on our topic specific work groups, please email Dania Douglas at

  • Policy & Advocacy Team
  • Culture and Engagement Workgroup
  • Administrative Cost Survey Working Group

Keep in Touch

Bill Kallestad

Lisa Morgan

Dania Douglas 
Director of Public Policy
LSA Disability Network
Lutheran Services in America