March 5, 2012 Legislative Update

March 5, 2012  

Your Monday Morning Update:  

Q. What do developmental disability advocates and tornadoes have in common?  
They are BOTH forces to be reckoned with!   The KanCare town hall held last Wednesday generated a packed house. We had over 200 attendees and with the polite tension in the air, everyone felt the storm a-brewin’! Maury Thompson of JCDS, Dr. Bill Craig of Lakemary Center and Tom Laing of InterHab, reinforced that our fight is not a minor squall.   The Administration must know by now that we are at the “batten down the hatches” stage.   Since legislators went back into session in January, over 10,000 emails have been sent through the Invisible Kansans website.  That is over 200 emails a day!  I must confess that it makes me snicker to think of how many “Dear Kansan” emails that has generated from the Governor or Lt. Governor’s offices.     I’ve attached a couple of links for you to check out.  The first is an article from the KHI (Kansas Health Institute) newsletter discussing how folks from Johnson County stirred up the dust at our town hall.  You may recognize your own face in the crowd.   The second is a link to a KHI article discussing some turbulent activity on our waiting list. This requires a bit of explaining…   A few years ago, the Supreme Court offered a decision called the Olmstead Decision (under the ADA) which cites that “states are required to place persons with mental disabilities in community settings rather than in institutions” About a year ago, the Feds started looking at states that had huge waiting lists for folks with I/DD (intellectual and developmental disabilities) claiming that they were in violation of this decision.   Since the Kansas waiting list has grown to 5,000 people possibly waiting up to six years, the Feds honored us with a visit and interviewed representatives from Kansas Social and Rehabilitation Services.  Reports were that the meeting was “cordial.” (I’m sorry, but a cordial is what I drink after fine dining.)   Since Kansas has been making no progress on whittling down the waiting list, we look forward to hearing with the Feds have to say.   YOUR TO DO LIST:

  1. Make your email on the website number 10,001.
  2. Last Friday, you were sent information on the “Not Worth The Gamble Rally” to be held on Tuesday, March 13th in Topeka.  It will be a whirlwind of activity and we’d love to have you join us.

Storm Trooper Mead signing out-
Warm regards,   
Lurena Mead

JCDS Community Relations Manager

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