This year it is especially important for everyone in the DD Community to join together in advocacy for continued funding of the services or programs that make a difference in the lives of thousands of Oregonians with IDD, their families and communities.
 It takes just a few minutes to take action, and every action counts!

Please read through this Special Extended Edition of the GO! Bulletin which features both State and Federal Advocacy Action Alerts.
Join us Monday, February 6th for the first DD Advocacy Day at the Capitol of the 2017 Session!

Join us in advocacy during the 2017 Legislative Session at the Oregon State Capitol in Salem. The Oregon Intellectual / Developmental Disability Coalition's GO! Project Advocacy Team will be available to provide information, training and support from 10AM to 2PM on any of these dates: Monday 2/6, 2/27, 3/20, 4/10, 5/1, 5/22 and 6/12.  This week our focus is on advocating for Continued Service Funding Levels for DD Services.
  • Use this link to find out who your State Senator and Representative are.
  • Contact your two state legislators and schedule a time to discuss the importance of developmental disabilities funding. 
  • Review the Oregon IDD Coalition Priorities to help you identify which focus topic you want to discuss with your legislators. 
  • Wear something yellow to show unity in advocacy. Print & GO Badges available.
  • Check in at DD Advocacy Headquarters in Room 257 before and after your visits.
Each Advocacy Day includes:
  • Training presentation on the legislature and meeting your legislators (11AM)
  • Support to develop and practice your talking points for your legislative meeting
  • Fact Sheets and Perspectives Pages on our current legislative priorities
  • Support to get to your legislator's office and debrief after your meeting

Weather Advisory

If stormy weather conditions prevent you from traveling to the Capitol, please contact your legislators early to arrange for a phone or video conference call and/or make plans to visit in person on another day. 

State Budget Road Show Begins This Week...

The Joint Committee on Ways and Means has scheduled a series of Town Hall meetings across the state to hear public input on the state's budget priorities for 2017-19.  Having advocates from the developmental disabilities community show up and give testimony at these public budget hearings is very important!  
To support your participation in these statewide budget town halls, we are identifying "hosts" in each region who will be on site at the events to provide you with fact sheets, advocacy stickers and more. If you are on social media, please register for your area's event on Facebook to stay informed and receive the latest information.
What to expect if you go? Be prepared for large crowds, and plan to arrive early, especially if you want to sign up to give testimony (at least 1 to 1 ½ hours early). The sign-up sheet for testimony fills up quickly. Even if you don't plan to give testimony, your presence at these events, wearing or waving something yellow in support of the DD Community, will send the message to legislators that the DD Community is unified in its support of DD programs and services.
The full schedule for the town hall tours is listed below-hope to see you there!
Friday, February 10 - Salem
5 to 7 p.m.
Hearing Room F
Oregon State Capitol
900 Court Street NE, Salem
Saturday, February 11 - Portland
Noon to 2 p.m. (Please arrive by 11AM)
Main Mall, Amo DeBernardis CC Building
PCC, Sylvania campus
12000 SW 49th Ave, Portland
Friday, February 17 - Hermiston
5 to 7 p.m. (Please arrive by 4PM)
Main Commons
Hermiston High School
600 S 1st St, Hermiston
Saturday, February 18 - Madras
1 to 3 p.m. (Please arrive by Noon)
Performing Arts Center
Madras High School
390 SE 10th St, Madras
Friday, February 24 - Ashland
5 to 7 p.m. (Please arrive by 4PM)
Rogue River Room
Southern Oregon University
1250 Siskiyou Blvd, Ashland
Saturday, February 25 - Eugene
1 to 3 p.m. (Please arrive by Noon)
Rooms 308-309 Building 17 (The Forum)
Lane Community College
4000 E 30th Ave, Eugene
Friday, March 3 - Tillamook
6 to 8 p.m. (Please arrive by 5PM)
Officer's Mess
Port of Tillamook Bay
6825 Officers Row, Tillamook

Oregon IDD Coalition's
2017 Legislative Priority Statement 
Everyone deserves to be a part of their community. People with Intellectual / Developmental Disabilities are most successful in their communities when we build a variety of services that embrace the diversity of people's needs and goals across their lifespan. Budget cuts are jeopardizing the diversity of the Oregon I/DD system leaving it unable to meet the needs of people with I/DD. The Oregon I/DD Coalition believes that for Oregonians with I/DD to be members of their communities, Oregon must properly fund Direct Support Professionals, housing options, family networks and case management along with continued service levels. Use the links below to access NEW Fact Sheets and Perspective Pages for the Coalition's 2017 Legislative Priorities:

  • Family Networks - Fund the regional family networks to strengthen families and communities as they work together to build sustainable support systems.
  • Case Management - Fund I/DD case management at 95% equity so that Oregonians with I/DD can remain safe and supported at home, work and in the community.
  • Direct Support Professionals - Fund a living wage to stabilize DSP workforce that keeps citizens with I/DD healthy and safe while they live, learn, work and age in our communities.
  • Fairview Housing Trust - Keep the promise of affordable, safe and accessible housing for people with I/DD by fully funding the Fairview Trust.
Policy Bills and Upcoming Hearings of Interest This Week:
New bills keep coming!  We are continuing to track or monitor those that could potentially require some sort of advocacy or involvement by the DD community.  You can view the current IDD Coalition Priority Bills Tracking Report 2 to stay updated.

 February 6th - Monday
  • 1:00 pm / HR D: Senate Committee on Human Services will be continuing its hearings on a group of child welfare bills, including SB 101 (authorizes child abuse investigations and interviews on private as well as public school premises) and SB 243 (expands the definition of "child in care" to include children receiving care and services from certified foster homes and developmental disabilities residential facilities). 
February 7th - Tuesday
  • 3:00 pm / HR D: House Committee on Higher Education and Workforce Development will hold a hearing and work session on HB 2312, which updates state law to conform with changes to federal law after enactment of federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).
  • 3:00 pm / HR C: Senate Committee on Education will hold a hearing on SJR 6 involving communicating information to school districts on backpack safety.
February 8th - Wednesday
  • OR 8:30 AM / HR F: Joint Committee on Ways and Means (Human Services Subcommittee) -- HB 5026  "Phase 1" of the Oregon Health Authority budget.
  • OR 8:30 AM / HR 343: Senate Committee on Judiciary - Public hearing and work session on SB 82, which says sanctions and punishment for youth in physical custody of Oregon Youth Authority may not include placing them alone in locked room.
  • OR 1:00 PM / HR D: Senate Committee on Human Services - Public Hearing on SB 239, which establishes a process to determine consent of resident of residential care facility or adult foster home to individually based limitation of certain rights. (Note: It is our understanding that this bill is not intended to apply to individuals who experience an intellectual or developmental disability; there will be amendments introduced at this hearing to make that clear.)
  • OR 3:00 PM / HR F: House Committee on Education - will be hearing a group of bills relating to the requirements and training for guidance counselors in schools (HB 2528, HB 2536, HB 2529, HB 2530).
  • There will also be an informational hearing on Ballot Measure 98 related to graduation rates and drop out prevention.
February 9th - Thursday
  • 8:00 AM / HR E: House Committee On Human Services and Housing - hearing on HB 2216, involving an Oregon Foster Children's Sibling Bill of Rights.
  • OR 8:30 AM / HR F: Joint Committee on Ways and Means (Human Services Subcommittee) -- HB 5026 - Phase 1, Oregon Health Authority Budget hearings.
  • OR 3:00 PM / HR C: Senate Committee on Education - Public hearing on SB 183, a bill establishing the "Early Indicator and Intervention System" to assist students in developing a plan to graduate from high school, and SB 182, a bill relating to professional development for educators in early learning to grade 12.
February 10th - Friday
  • 8:00 am / HR E: House Committee On Health Care - Public hearings on two bills affecting medical assistance recipients:
  • HB 2398: Prohibits health care provider from billing medical assistance recipient except as provided by Oregon Health Authority by rule.
  • HB 2723: Prohibits exclusion of hippotherapy from services provided in medical assistance.
Interested in tracking bills and hearings?
  • Use the Oregon Legislature's Capitol e-Subscribe service to receive bill alerts for individual bills as they move through the legislative process, receive committee agendas, news from members of the legislative body and more.

Write Your United States Senator & Representative Today!

Write your federal Senators and House Members and tell them how Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act help you be a member of your community! National IDD Advocacy organizations say that even if you have already called to your federal Senators and House Members, you need to submit letters telling your story.

Last week  in 2017 GO Bulletin #1 , we introduced you to Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act. Today, we are sharing details about potential changes to Medicaid and reminding you about the benefits of the Affordable Care Act.
How is Medicaid paid for now?
Medicaid pays for health care and disability related supports so people can live and work in their communities. If you are on Medicaid, you are entitled to services that you need when you need them.

Oregon gets federal dollars to help pay for your services. If the cost of your services goes up, the federal dollars go up to help cover those services.

What happens if federal money for Medicaid goes down?
If federal money goes down, then Oregon has to pick up a larger amount of the cost. If Oregon can ' t afford to pay more, then it will have to cut costs by doing things like changing provider rates, who gets services, which services are covered and adding caps on how much someone can receive. It could also mean wait lists for services.
What are the Medicaid changes discussed at the federal level? You can access  this Kaiser Family Foundation Issue Brief for more information.
Nothing is final, but Congress is talking about two ways to limit how much federal money comes to states for Medicaid services.

What are the differences between the current and proposed funding models?
Why should we be concerned about Block Grants or Per Capita Caps?
Oregon values that people with IDD and society benefit when all people live and work as community members. Our state recognizes that Medicaid supports are often a critical link between a person experiencing disability and their community.

With less federal money for Medicaid, Oregon will have to pick up more of the costs. Oregon currently has a $1.8 billion dollar budget shortfall. It is unlikely that Oregon would be able to increase Medicaid spending cover more of the costs of Medicaid. This means Oregon would probably have to change provider rates, eligibility for who can get services, which services they can get and how much of a service they can have. Oregon may have to start wait lists.

How does the Affordable Care Act fit in?
As we discussed last week in the   2017 GO Bulletin #1 , the Affordable Care Act did many things to increase access, coverage and care for Oregonians. It included the Community First Choice Option (K Plan) which increased access and services to thousands of Oregonians with IDD. For additional information, please read this Statement on the Impact of the Affordable Care Act on DD Services published by the Oregon Council on Developmental Disabilities.
There are federal discussions about repealing the Affordable Care Act. If this happens, it is unclear what happens to the parts of the Affordable Care Act that benefit people with disabilities. We would like to see it stay.

If Congress moves forward with repealing the Affordable Care Act, disability advocates would like to see a replacement that gives equal or better access to affordable, quality health and long-term care supports.

This sounds bad for people with disabilities, how can I help?
Tell your story to our federal Senators and House Members! They need to know how these changes impact you so they can advocate for you in Washington DC. Follow our guide to write a short but powerful letter to our federal Senators and House Members.