WWW.ALSTON.COM 2013-2014 WIA Advocacy Efforts CSAVR Conference April 7, 2014 WWW.ALSTON.COM Outline Legislative update CSAVR advocacy update WIA talking points Questions & Answers Hill meeting tutorial WWW.ALSTON.COM 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 WWW.ALSTON.COM 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 WWW.ALSTON.COM • More than 100 meetings with Congressional staff since August • On the Hill almost ever week for the past 7 months Senate: 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) House: 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) WWW.ALSTON.COM Key Players on the Hill Senate: HELP Committee Chair Tom Harkin (D-IA) (retiring) HELP Committee Ranking Member Lamar Alexander (R-TN) Incoming HELP Chair Patty Murray (D-WA) HELP Subcommittee Chair Johnny Isakson (R-GA) Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) House: 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) WWW.ALSTON.COM RSA Move Talking Points No data to indicate better VR outcomes at DOL RSA should collaborate more than ever with schools, not less 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 WWW.ALSTON.COM 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 employment WWW.ALSTON.COM 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 WWW.ALSTON.COM 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 results. 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. WWW.ALSTON.COM 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. WWW.ALSTON.COM 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 allows 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 WWW.ALSTON.COM 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 Committee? Is any follow up necessary?