Wis. Board for People with Developmental Disabilities: Legislature’s Extraordinary Session bills impact people with disabilities

Contact: Beth Swedeen, (608) 266-1166

Friday afternoon the legislature released a package of bills for the first time, some of which could have significant consequences for people with disabilities and their families.

The bills would limit the authority of the new Governor to make changes to state programs, including Medicaid waiver programs, and make significant changes to voting laws.

AB 1072 would make it much harder to make changes and improvements to Wisconsin’s Medicaid waivers and Medicaid services, programs like Family Care, IRIS, Children’s Long-Term Support, intensive autism services, Katie Beckett, MAPP and more.

“AB 1072 creates real consequences Medicaid participants and the state,” said Beth Swedeen, Executive Director for the Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities (BPDD). “AB 1072 would make it more difficult and time consuming to make technical changes, adjust programs to make them more responsive to state needs, make improvements to programs, and make sure they follow federal requirements that are often tied to increased funding for states.”

There is already a time-intensive, involved process between the state Department of Health Services (DHS) and federal government to negotiate changes to any Medicaid program, and the legislature already has the power to direct the Department of Health Services to make changes to waivers.

Another bill (AB 1071) would decrease participation of voters with disabilities in the electoral process, create confusion, and add to the difficulties and cost for Wisconsin’s 1800 plus municipalities to administer the elections and to provide legally required support for voters with disabilities.

There is no way people with disabilities and others have time to understand this bill or get to the capitol to testify on this bill on such short notice. Any bill that makes big changes like this to programs people rely on needs more discussion, public input and more than one hearing.

BPDD has performed a cursory review, however there is no way people with disabilities and others have time to understand the full implications and consequences of these bills or get to the capitol to testify on such short notice. Any bill that makes big changes like this to programs people rely on needs more discussion, public input and more than one hearing.

Read BPPD’s testimony here: https://wi-bpdd.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/BPDD_ExtrodinarySession_120318.pdf

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