The Arc of Kentucky is a statewide grassroots organization founded in 1955. A member of The Arc of the United States, The Arc of Kentucky coordinates a network of local affiliate chapters that provides education, partnership and advocacy. In accordance with its mission and goals and in accordance with other self/family advocacy groups, The Arc seeks funding and legislation to provide necessary supports that puts people first, advances opportunities and ensures justice for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
The Kentucky General Assembly 2015 session begins January 6, 2015.
Click here to search for your federal and state legislators.
How to Contact Your Legislator:
Call and leave a message – LRC- 1-800-372-7181
To check bill status – call LRC’s Status Line – 1-866-840-2835
To track a bill online – KY Legislative Research Commission – http://www.lrc.state.ky.us/legislation.htm
2014 – The ABLE ACT (Federal and Kentucky) https://www.stablekentucky.com/
Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014 or the ABLE Act of 2014 – Create accounts to help individuals and families finance disability needs.
The ABLE Act is built on the foundation of the current 529 education savings plans that help families save for college. In the case of ABLE, families now have a tax‐deferred savings vehicle to save for the care of people with disabilities. The National Disability Institute estimates there are 58 million individuals with disabilities in the United States. Many of these individuals will qualify for ABLE accounts.
2015 – SB 179 (The Kentucky ABLE ACT) was signed into law by Kentucky Governor Bevin on April 5, 2016
In December 2016, the Office of Kentucky State Treasurer Allison Ball began offering State Treasurer ABLE accounts in Kentucky, or STABLE Kentucky accounts. The initiative is a partnership with Ohio’s STABLE Accounts, an initiative launched by Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel in the summer of 2016.
Dear Medicaid and ACA Advocates:
As you know, the House passed, by a 217-213 vote, the American Health Care Act (AHCA) (H.R. 1628) which would significantly cut and cap federal funding for Medicaid and repeal parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Kaiser Family Foundation created this summary which describes key provisions of the AHCA. A CBO score of the bill is expected during the week of May 22nd.
This message is to provide you with an overview of the current situation and how advocates can engage. Medicaid is truly at risk right now. We need each of you to activate the grassroots in your state to make our voices heard about how people with disabilities will be devastated by the caps to Medicaid proposed in the AHCA.
The AHCA has now moved to the Senate where a 13-member working group (see attached) has been established to draft a Senate health care bill that will draw 51 votes of support. We’ve heard that the Senate hopes to pass its bill by the end of June. A delay is, of course, possible.
The next several weeks are critical. It is during this time period that Republican senators will discuss what should be in their health care bill and will gauge which provisions will draw support or opposition. This matters because the Senate only needs a simple majority to pass this bill (see attached on budget reconciliation). Senate leadership can only afford to lose 2 senators; anything more than 2 and the bill fails. So now is the time that senators must make clear to their colleagues that they oppose Medicaid cuts and per-capita-caps. While several senators have expressed concern about the Medicaid expansion or the scope of Medicaid cuts, to our knowledge, no Republican senators have said that they will not support a health care bill that cuts and caps federal spending for Medicaid. This is very concerning news and makes our work even more important.
We need you to get out the grassroots in your state to focus on making sure that Medicaid per capita caps are not included in any Senate bill, like they were in the House bill. Funding caps for the Medicaid program will be devastating to people with disabilities. We need at least 3 Republican senators to state their opposition to per capita caps. If a Senate-passed bill includes Medicaid cuts and caps, it will be difficult, and perhaps impossible, to stop it from becoming law and forever fundamentally changing the Medicaid program.
We can’t let this happen.
Actions Steps: Organize state grassroots advocates to:
- Meet with your senators in DC, back home (during the Memorial Day recess from May 29-June 4), or go to their local offices to educate them about the devastating impact of per capita caps/cuts to Medicaid on people with disabilities. If you can’t get a meeting with the senators, meet with staff but keep trying to get a one-on-one with the senator.
- Call your senators every day; especially those on the target list. Use this number: in English:866-426-2631 and in Español: 877-736-7831 (both only connect you to Republican members of Congress). You can also just call the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 or look up your senators’ phone numbers online.
- Email your senators every day and tell them your story and why Medicaid matters; recruit others to do the same.
- Attend town hall meetings (https://townhallproject.com/) and ask your members of Congress where they stand on capping and cutting Medicaid.
- Organize “No Cuts, No Caps for Medicaid” rallies and protests outside your Senators’ offices.
- Engage with your senators on Facebook and Instagram (if they have accounts).
- Tweet your senators every day about how devastating Medicaid caps and cuts will be for people with disabilities and their families and caregivers. Use these hashtags: l #MedicaidMatters #SaveMedicaid #NoCutsNoCaps
- Reach out to reporters and journalists to make sure they’re covering this issue and that they’re aware of the devastating impact of Medicaid caps and cuts on state budgets and citizens. Write op-eds and letters to the editor.
- Contact your governor and ask him/her to raise alarms about the impact of Medicaid cuts and caps.
- Connect with other local advocacy activities in your state (Indivisible, MoveOn, etc.) and encourage them to raise their voices against Medicaid caps and cuts.
- Draft and circulate a coalition letter and recruit dozens of state organizations to sign and express their opposition to Medicaid cuts and caps and email it to your senators as well as local newspapers, journalists, and reporters.
- Send postcards to your members of Congress:http://autisticadvocacy.org/2017/05/protectourcare-postcard-center/
- Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) talking points on per capita caps.
- What is Budget Reconciliation and why it matters to the AHCA (attached)
- Protect Our Medicaid website, with background information, updated talking points, and action steps
We’ll be in touch again soon. Please continue to mobilize your local groups. And don’t hesitate to contact us if you have questions or need any assistance or have other advocates we should add to this grassroots leaders listserv.
Thank you for your incredible advocacy!
The CCD Grassroots Team,
Alison Barkoff, Center for Public Representation (CPR), firstname.lastname@example.org
Julia Bascom, Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN), email@example.com
Christine Grosso, Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD), firstname.lastname@example.org
Nicole Jorwic, The Arc of the United States, email@example.com
Vania Leveille, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) firstname.lastname@example.org