AlstonBird Presentation - Council of State Administrators of

2013-2014 WIA Advocacy Efforts
CSAVR Conference
April 7, 2014
Legislative update
CSAVR advocacy update
WIA talking points
Questions & Answers
Hill meeting tutorial
Legislative Update
Senate Bill:
 Workforce Investment Act of
2013 (S.1356):
 July 24, 2013: Introduced
 July 31, 2013: Reported
favorable by Health, Education,
Labor, and Pensions (HELP)
Committee (vote: 18 to 3)
 Has not been taken up by the
full Senate
House Bill:
 Supporting Knowledge and
Investing in Lifelong Skills
(SKILLS) Act (H.R.803):
 February 25, 2013: Introduced
 March 12, 2013: Reported
favorably by Committee on
Education and the Workforce
(vote: 23 in favor, 18 not voting)
 March 15, 2013: Passed House
 Both the House and Senate engaged in effort to move Workforce
Investment Act (WIA) reauthorization legislation in 2014
 Active “pre-conferencing” now underway
Primary Concerns with Senate Bill
 RSA Move:
 Proposal would move of the Rehabilitation Services Administration
(RSA) from the Department of Education (DOE) to the Department
of Labor (DOL)
 Section 511:
 Relates to subminimum wage employment of individuals with
disabilities and would make VR counselors responsible for
deciding whether young people should enter sheltered workshops
 Comprehensive System of Personnel Development (CSPD):
 Downgrades qualifications for VR professional staff
 These provisions are NOT in the House bill, but are on the
table during preconferencing
CSAVR WIA Advocacy
• More than 100 meetings with Congressional staff since August
• On the Hill almost ever week for the past 7 months
Sen. Alexander (R-TN) (x3+)
Sen. Ayotte (R-NH) (x2)
Sen. Barrasso (R-WY)
Sen. Baldwin (D-WI)
Sen. Blumenthal (D-CT) (x2)
Sen. Blunt (R-MO)
Sen. Brown (D-OH) (x2)
Sen. Cantwell (D-WA) (x2)
Sen. Cardin (D-MD)
Sen. Casey (D-PA)
Sen. Chambliss (R-GA)
Sen. Coburn (R-OK) (x2)
Sen. Cochran (R-MS) (x2)
Sen. Collins (R-ME)
Sen. Crapo (R-ID)
Sen. Enzi (R-WY) (x2)
Sen. Franken (D-MN) (x2)
Sen. Graham (R-SC) (x2)
Sen. Harkin (D-IA) (x3+)
Sen. Hatch (R-UT) (x2)
Sen. Hirono (D-HI) (x2)
Sen. Inhofe (R-OK) (x2)
Sen. Isakson (R-GA)
Sen. Kaine (D-VA) (x2)
Sen. Klobuchar (D-MN) (x2)
Sen. Leahy (D-VT) (x2)
Sen. Lee (R-UT)
Sen. Markey (D-MA) (x2)
Sen. McCaskill (D-MO)
Sen. Mikulski (D-MD)
Sen. Murphy (D-CT) (x2)
Sen. Murray (D-WA)
Sen. Paul (R-KY) (x2)
Sen. Portman (R-OH) (x2)
Sen. Reed (D-RI) (x2)
Sen. Risch (R-ID) (x2)
Sen. Sanders (I-VT) (x2)
Sen. Scott (R-SC) (x3)
Sen. Sessions (R-AL) (x2)
Sen. Shaheen (D-NH) (x2)
Sen. Shelby (R-AL) (x2)
Sen. Warner (D-VA) (x2)
Sen. Warren (D-MA) (x2)
Sen. Whitehouse (D-RI)
Sen. Wicker (R-MS) (x2)
Sen. Wyden (D-OR) (x2)
Rep. Barletta (R-PA)
Rep. Blackburn (R-TN)
Rep. Boehner (R-OH)
Rep. Brooks (R-IN)
Rep. Ellison (D-MN)
Rep. Gowdy (R-SC)
Rep. Guthrie (R-KY)
Rep. Harper (R-MS)
Rep. Hoyer (D-MD) (x2)
Rep. Kline (R-MN) (x2)
Rep. McMorris-Rodgers (RWA)
Rep. Miller (D-CA)
Rep. Roe (R-TN)
Rep. Tierney (D-MA) (x2)
Rep. Van Hollen (D-MD)
Rep. Welch (D-VT) (x2)
Rep. Wilson (R-SC)
Key Players on the Hill
 HELP Committee Chair
Tom Harkin (D-IA) (retiring)
 HELP Committee Ranking
Member Lamar Alexander
 Incoming HELP Chair Patty
Murray (D-WA)
 HELP Subcommittee Chair
Johnny Isakson (R-GA)
 Senator Tim Scott (R-SC)
 Education & Workforce
Chair John Kline (R-MN)
 Education & Workforce
Ranking Member George
Miller (D-CA) (retiring)
 Rep. Greg Harper (R-MS)
 Rep. Cathy McMorrisRodgers (R-WA)
RSA Move Talking Points
 No data to indicate better VR outcomes at DOL
 RSA should collaborate more than ever with schools, not
 Moving out of DOE is inconsistent with better serving
transition youth
 DOL/“one stop” model has not demonstrated ability to
serve people with disabilities
 Move to DOL could mean dilution of services for
individuals with disabilities
511 Talking Points
 Misguided effort
 Will strengthen and give legitimacy to flawed
subminimum wage system, rather than protecting people
with disabilities
 Advances false premise that people with disabilities
cannot be competitively employed
 Makes VR counselors the gatekeepers to sheltered
workshops, distracting from VR’s focus on competitive
CSPD Talking Points
 Comprehensive System of Personnel Development
(CSPD) ensures high standards for professional staff,
while allowing states to develop their own standards
 Qualified rehab counselors are critical to achieving good
VR outcomes
 Downgrading standards for professional staff threatens
VR’s success in matching individuals with disabilities to
competitive employment opportunities
Sample Questions & Answers
(RSA Move)
 What is the rationale behind the proposed RSA move?
 Answer: It’s not clear. One goal is better VR outcomes, but there
isn’t any data to show that moving RSA will produce positive
 If VR is about jobs, and Labor is about jobs, doesn’t it
make sense for VR to be administered like other job
placement programs?
 Answer: VR is unique in the way it serves consumers, and the
program is much more than a job placement service.
Sample Questions & Answers
(Sec. 511)
 Aren’t sheltered workshops and subminimum wage jobs
the most appropriate place for some people?
 VR serves people who want to work in competitive settings, and
almost everyone with this goal can achieve it with the right
support. While there may be some people with severe
disabilities who do well in a sheltered environment, it is not VR’s
role to place them there.
 Isn’t section 511 designed to be a “speed bump” to
subminimum wage placement?
 While the intentions behind 511 may be good, 511 is not the
right solution. It would give legitimacy to the subminimum wage
system under the Rehab Act without addressing underlying
problems with the system.
Hill Meeting Tutorial
 Thank Members and staff for their time
 Introduce yourself, including where you live and work
 Describe your work and its impact on individuals with
disabilities in your district
 Be specific, providing stories and examples if time
 Raise issues with the WIA reauthorization legislation,
particularly the proposed RSA Move, Section 511, and
CSPD changes in the Senate bill
 Ask Members/staff to bring concerns to the relevant
Committee (Senate HELP/House Education &
Workforce) and/or contacts in the Administration
Prepare to Provide Feedback:
 Who did you meet with?
 Had staff previously heard concerns about WIA
from the disability community?
 Was Member/staff receptive to concerns?
 Did Member/staff agree to bring concerns to
 Is any follow up necessary?

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