Legislative Advocacy

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Resources and Information for Legislative Advocacy

Kansas often has bills in action that affect people with disabilities.  We are providing these resources for you so you can reach out to your local legislators to share your stories and insight to help with bill advancement through the process.

We also encourage you to watch for community meetings or local gatherings in your communities with your Legislators.  These will be held off and on throughout the year.  Check with your local Chamber of Commerce for more information.  We encourage people with disabilities and their families to participate in these meetings and share stories.  It really does help!

Legislative Watch 2021

Here is some information about current bills that have been introduced in 2021.

  • House Bill 2122 - Supported Decision Making

    This bill will enact the supported decision-making agreements act to provide a statutory framework for adults that want decision-making assistance.  Read more here:  http://www.kslegislature.org/li/b2021_22/measures/hb2122/

    • This would allow people to take more control over their lives with support as an alternative to having a guardian appointed. This will help to limit decisions being made on the behalf of someone else.
    • Example, a person could have a decision making team of those people closest to them and make those choices for themselves.
    • Supported decision making helps people learn about themselves and helps them experience personal growth at a faster pace.
    • Supported decision-making is often defined as supports and services that help an adult with a disability make his or her own decisions by relying on trusted friends, family members, professionals, and others – from the American Bar Association.
  • House Bill 2046/Senate Bill 154 - Rate Increase

    Increasing reimbursement rates for providers of home and community-based services under the intellectual or developmental disability waiver, making appropriations for such rates and providing for legislative review of the waiting list for such services.  Read more here:  http://www.kslegislature.org/li/b2021_22/measures/hb2046/

    • This bill would help people and staff in the communities we serve be able to make a living wage while providing services for people with disabilities. Turnover is high in this area.
    • A rate increase would give Providers the opportunity to build enough internal infrastructure to provide specialized supports above basic services.
    • It has been a long time since we have had a rate increase.
  • House Bill 2373 - Behavioral Health

    Requiring the Kansas Department of Aging and Disability Services to establish and implement a mobile crisis services program for individuals with intellectual or development disabilities.  Read more here:  http://www.kslegislature.org/li/b2021_22/measures/hb2373/

    • This bill would provide financial support and a mechanism for people that go into crisis to have supports in their own homes and communities, versus going into a hospital or other setting.
    • They could hire individual people to provide the necessary crisis services.
    • The only hospitals that provide those services in Kansas are Larned and Osawatomie for the most part. Other state hospitals have closed admissions.  These hospitals are full and busting at the seams.
    • This will also allow for treatment at home after in-patient services are completed.
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How to Communicate with a Legislator:

Email is a fast, usually efficient way to contact your legislator.  It is particularly important to use a letter writing set of guidelines when writing an email.  Legislators get an increasing number of emails and being more formal will help your message get across.  Follow these tips:

  • The email should be brief. A short, concise email is effective.  Close with, “If you need additional information, please let me know.”
  • If you are writing about a specific bill, include the bill number and a brief statement at the beginning of the email.
  • Discuss only one bill in your email. This makes it easier for a legislator or staff member to track.  If you want to discuss another bill, send another email.
  • Your email should be well written and your tone sincere and polite.

Your email should also include the following:

  • A brief statement (ten words or less) on the subject and bill number.
  • An introduction of yourself which tells why you are interested in or concerned about the bill.
  • A personal anecdote/story about how the bill will affect you, your family, your community, your business, your job, your school, etc.
  • Some facts, including supporting information and data to support your position.
  • An invitation to contact you to discuss the bill
  • A request for a reply if you need one.
  • A statement of appreciation for consideration of your position.
  • Your home address and telephone number.

How to Contact your Kansas Senator:

Kansas is divided into Districts and one Senator represents each District.  Your district is determined by your legal residence.

 

How to Contact your Kansas Representative:

Kansas is divided into Districts and one Representative represents each District.  Your district is determined by your legal residence.

Do you have questions about Legislative Advocacy?

If you would like more information about Legislative Advocacy, please contact us at the below location/phone number or complete the secure online form.

OCCK, Inc.

    • 1710 West Schilling Road, Salina, KS, USA
    View Map / Get Directions
    • Phone(785) 827-9383
    • Toll-Free1-800-526-9731
    • Fax(785) 823-2015