Jamey Helgeson: Senate rejects COVID relief bill

Published 6:30 am Saturday, September 26, 2020

On Sept. 10, Senate Republicans failed to get enough votes to advance their pared-down version of the COVID-19 relief bill they introduced last month. This bill included a $300 unemployment benefit bonus, additional Paycheck Protection Program loans for businesses experiencing substantial revenue drops, additional education funding (including for private school scholarships),additional funding for development and distribution of vaccines, drugs, and other medical supplies, liability protections; and an expanded charitable tax deduction. This $650 billion bill did not include:

• Increased federal funding for home and community-based services (HCBS) under Medicaid;

•Increased access to personal protective equipment (PPE) for direct support professionals;

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• Expanded eligibility for economic impact payments to adult dependents and another round of payments; and

• Paid leave eligibility for family caregivers of adults with disabilities, including siblings and grandparents.

We urge you to continue contacting your senators.

USCCR recommends phase-out of subminimum wage

On Sept. 17, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (USCCR) released a report in which they recommended a phase-out of subminimum wages under Section 14 (c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The report highlighted “persistent failures” in oversight of the program. Furthermore, the report notes that people with IDD who earn subminimum wage “are not categorically different in level of disability” from people with IDD who work in competitive integrated employment.

In recommending a planned phase-out, the report emphasizes that “[t]he phased repeal of 14(c) must not reflect a retreat in federal investments and support for employment success of persons with disabilities but rather a reconceptualization of the way in which the federal government can enhance the possibilities for success and growth for people with disabilities.” LIFE Mower County supports building infrastructure and supports needed to phase out the issuance of subminimum wage certificates, increasing opportunities for competitive integrated employment, and putting in place safeguards to protect the interests of any people affected by this shift.

The loss of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

On Sept. 18, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away.

Ginsburg served on the Supreme Court for 27 years. She authored the majority opinion in the landmark case Olmstead v. L.C. in which the court ruled that people with disabilities have a right to be free from inappropriate institutionalization and to be served in the “most integrated setting appropriate to the needs.”

We need YOU as a board member

Are you interested in serving on LIFE Mower County’s Board of Directors? The experience is both rewarding and enjoyable. Serving on a nonprofit board increases your access to professional networks, networks outside your circle of influence.

People within those networks may have an impact on you in a variety of ways. Service on the Board of Directors requires a deep commitment to our mission as well as time and energy necessary for full participation. Learn more at https://bit.ly/3gwhU8N.

Upcoming Events

Monday: Virtual Board Meeting, 5:30 p.m.

Tuesday: Virtual Program: America’s Got Talent, 6 p.m.

Wednesday: Virtual Program: Travel Buddies, 6 p.m.

Thursday: Virtual Program: Music and Movement, 6 p.m.

Friday: In-Person Program: Picnic in the Park, 4 p.m.

Oct. 6: Virtual Program: Cooking, 6 p.m.

Oct. 7: In-Person Program: Bowling League, 4 p.m.

Oct. 8: Virtual Program: Bingo with Prizes, 6 p.m.

• Oct. 9: In-Person Program: Roll and Stroll, 4 p.m.