The Wisconsin Legislative Notification System provides you the opportunity to follow important legislation through daily or weekly e-mails for specific legislative activities. You can choose items by Proposal, Committee, Author or Subject and can select the activities for which you would like to receive notifications. It's your future! Get involved! Stay involved!
Contact Your Lawmakers
To call or email your legislators, find your Wisconsin State legislators and their contact information: Who Are My Legislators?
Learn How to Effectively Communicate with Your Lawmakers
Partners in Making Your Case is a free, self-paced online course that will give you tips on how to communicate your needs with your lawmakers.
The ballot this spring includes many important races such as the State Supreme Court race, with current Justice Pat Roggensack is facing challenger Ed Fallone. Visit their websites for more information about their positions.
Also the State Superintendent of Public Instruction race (See next article below) as well as local officials like City Council, Mayor or School Board members. To find out exactly who will be on your ballot and where you vote, go to https://myvote.wi.gov/.
Photo identification is not needed to vote in this election. Voters will be asked to sign the poll book. Anyone who is not physically able to sign the poll book can be exempt from the requirement. If you are physically able, you can sign your name or use a mark or a stamp signature. A mark can be an “X.”
If you have any questions about registering to vote, accessible voting machines, the voting process, or your rights as a voter, contact the Disability Rights Wisconsin Voter Hotline at 800/928-8778 or 888/758-6049 (TTY/TEXTNET).
The Survival Coalition of Wisconsin Disability Organizations will host Disability Advocacy Day on March 20, 2013. A day for you to connect with your legislators and share your story with them, tell them how legislative policies affect people with disabilities. The survival coalition will give a briefing and will set up your legislative visit. See the article at Disability Advocacy Day. You can register online or by submitting the registration form. The deadline to register is Wednesday, March 13.
Gov. Scott Walker plans to include special needs vouchers in his 2013-2015 State Budget that he will introduce Wednesday, February 20th. Families from around the state held a media event at the Capitol to share their concerns. View photos from this Media Event Join this grassroots group of families and their children with disabilities in asking the Wisconsin Legislature to take special needs vouchers out of the budget.
Efforts to improve outcomes for students with disabilities should include putting additional funds toward public school special education services instead of private school vouchers. Special needs vouchers could negatively affect students with disabilities and drain critical resources from small Wisconsin school districts. Families lose all their federal protections when they leave public schools, and private schools are not accountable for student outcomes. To learn more about concerns surrounding special needs vouchers, check out this comprehensive fact sheet.
Including special needs vouchers in the Governor’s budget does not allow for adequate public input on this important policy issue so contacting your legislators may be the only way for you to have input.
Your legislators are now considering the 2013-2015 State Budget and the many issues important to you! Issues like long-term care, employment, education, Medicaid, and transportation will be addressed by the Legislature as they develop the state budget. Start a conversation now with your legislators to ensure that they takes your needs and concerns into consideration. To help you better prepare for conversations with your legislators, the Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities (BPDD) will hold regional budget trainings throughout the state. Locations and dates will be announced soon. You may also wish to review the WI BPDD's 2013-15 Budget Platform and the Survival Coalition's 2013-15 Biennial Budget Priorities. Do not let your future be decided without you!
The following article was sent by DAWN (Disability Advocates Wisconsin Network) The Congress and the President are negotiating over more than only taxes. If they cannot reach a decision by the beginning of January and if they add cuts to entitlement programs, besides the tax increases and federal spending cuts, there will be drastic cuts to discretionary programs that affect people with disabilities. If you are served by any of the programs relying on a fixed federal funding including those for people with disabilities mentioned below or are concerned about cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, please contact President Obama on his website or contact your Congressional Representative through their website. The House members can inform Speaker Boehner of their constituents’ opinions.
People with disabilities will be impacted in a variety of ways if Congress and the President do not reach agreement to change current law by the end of the year. A combination of federal spending cuts and tax increases will go into effect at the end of 2012 and beginning of January 2013 if no action is taken.If President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner cannot reach agreement, some taxes will increase, tax credits will expire, and federal unemployment benefits will end. While these actions are concerning, advocates are focused on drastic cuts to discretionary programs like general and special education, employment supports, and housing programs that people with disabilities rely on. Each program would be cut about 8 percent. Unlike entitlements such as Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security, discretionary programs get a fixed sum of funding. If funds are cut, Wisconsin will receive less federal aid to support a wide range of programs, such as vocational rehabilitation. Services that assist all citizens will also be cut. Public safety and law enforcement, medical and scientific research, public health; and environmental protection are only a few examples of the services that will be cut is current law is not changed. The details about the bill to avoid the fiscal cliff are constantly changing. Some entitlement reforms are now under discussion. Congress and the President need to hear from constituents whether programs that serve people with disabilities, such as Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and many of the discretionary programs need to remain strong without changes.
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