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Public Policy 411 Newsletter

Online Newsletter

Legislative updates on issues that impact people with disabilities

Blue and Red Stylized A in logo for Advocates in Action
In this issue:
  • TWP Advocates in Action Highlight
  • The Set-Aside Ordinance Passes 12 - 0!
  • State of Missouri

    - Kansas City 2021 State of the City Address
    - Missouri 2021 State of the State Address
    - Missouri senators discuss expanding at-home health care licensing

  • State of Kansas

    - State of the State Address
    - Paying for Medicaid expansion
    - ABC’s of the Kansas Legislature

  • Federal

    - Special Enrollment Period for ACA Marketplace
    - State of the Union Address
    - Biden plan for full participation and equality for people with disabilities
    - Exciting Federal Appointment

  • Legislation

    - Bills we are currently tracking at the city, state and federal level

  • Upcoming Events

Advocates in Action Highlight

Darrin Sherman, an advocate for blind/low vision people, recently helped place tactile markers along the recreational walking path at Parade Park next to the 18th and Vine District. He calls it “a simple and creative solution to a problem that” for years “was preventing me from finding the track.”  KC Parks and Recreation continues to be a great local partner to help create accessible park spaces in KC, a necessity for all members of the community.

Click here to read Darrin’s Advocacy Story 


KCMO News

The Set-Aside Ordinance Passes 12 - 0!

By Travis Rash, Housing Coordinator for The Whole Person

Exciting news! The Whole Person has been actively participating with Urban Neighborhood Initiative, and Promoting Equitable Neighborhoods work group for the last couple of years to advocate for the passage of an ordinance that will increase development of affordable housing units (otherwise known as a set-aside ordinance)- and we are excited to announce that the ordinance has passed!

The Ordinance uses HUD's median family income estimates as a guide for development- which is currently rounded to $86,000. The proposed ordinance says 20 percent of housing units developed by developers receiving local tax incentives would have to be set aside for affordable housing and of that, 10 percent would be set aside for families earning 70 percent of Median Family Income. The other half would go to families earning 30 percent of Median Family income. Our hope is that this ordinance will contribute to the development of additional affordable and accessible housing.

For more information, CLICK HERE

Kansas City, Missouri State of the City Address

Mayor Quinton Lucas delivered his 2021 State of the City Address on February 10, 2021. This occasion is notable, as it is the first time an American Sign Language (ASL interpreter) has been provided during this address in the history of the city.

Watch video here.  View transcript here.


State of Missouri

Governor Mike Parson delivered his 2021 State of the State Address on Wednesday, January 27, 2021.  Watch video here.  View transcript here.

HB789 modifies provisions relating to the practice of certain professions, including ASL interpreters. View story here.

Missouri senators discuss expanding at-home health care licensing. Read story here.


State of Kansas

Governor Laura Kelly delivered her 2021 State of the State Address on January 12, 2021. Watch video here.  View transcript here.

Kansas governor proposes paying for Medicaid expansion through legalizing medical marijuana.

To learn the ABC’s of the KS Legislature visit this link on How a Bill Becomes Law.


Federal

Special Enrollment Period for ACA Market Place Insurance Extended Until June 15

Read:  Executive Order | Press Release | CMS Fact Sheet | White House Fact Sheet

  • Expansion of Medicare to 60
  • End wait lists for Medicaid

For assistance in applying for health care, contact KC Care Health Center (formerly known as KC Care Clinic) at 816-753-5144.

President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. was inaugurated as the 46th president of the United States on January 20, 2021. Watch Inaugural Address here.  View transcript here.

The Biden plan for full participation and equality for people with disabilities.  Read plan here.

Commissioner of the Administration on Disabilities

Exciting Federal Appointments

Reyma McCoy McDeid, was recently appointed by President Biden to the position of Commissioner of the Administration on Disabilities and Director of the Independent Living Administration. Reyma is from the mid-west and is a former at-large member of the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) Region VII. She most recently served as the Treasurer to NCIL and co-chair for NCIL’s Task Force on Anti-Racism and Equity. The value of Reyma’s background as a former Director for a Center for Independent Living as she moves into this position cannot be overstated.

Read the official announcement here.

Andrés J. Gallegos, Esq.

Chair of the National Council on Disability

Andrés J. Gallegos, Esq. was recently appointed by President Biden to Chair of the National Council on Disability. He is a shareholder with the law firm of Robbins, Salomon, and Patt, Ltd., in Chicago, Illinois. He focuses his practice on disability rights and healthcare law. He founded and directs the law firm’s national disability rights practice, which emphasizes improving access to healthcare and wellness programs for persons across all types of disabilities.

On April 27, 2021, Andrés will be leading an Accessible Healthcare Workshop Webinar hosted by The Whole Person.

Read the press release here.


Legislation

This is a list of the bills we are currently tracking at the city, state and federal level.

CLICK HERE to view.


Upcoming Events

Virtual Disability Rights Legislative Day

This year is the 20th anniversary of Disability Rights Legislative Day at the Missouri State Capitol. It will take place virtually on Tuesday, March 23, 2021. This is an opportunity to talk to your legislators about issues impacting people with disabilities. The Missouri Developmental Disabilities Council is sponsoring the rally that will take place that morning. Visit the registration page and get registered. We will schedule meetings with elected officials that afternoon.

Call 816-545-9887 or email kburgess@thewholeperson.org for assistance with sharing your story and to schedule a meeting with your elected officials.


TWP Public Policy Coordinator

If you are interested in participating in advocacy for people with disabilities, please contact:

Kendra A. Burgess
Public Policy Coordinator, The Whole Person
Email: kburgess@thewholeperson.org
Phone: 816-627-2204