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December 1, 1999

December 1, 1999 Meeting Minutes

The Disability Law Forum Committee met in the CBA offices. Present were: Michael Breeskin, Joel Hayes, Charlie Masner, Julie Reiskin, Melanie Segal, Dan Taubman, Gordon Williams, Kevin Williams and Claire Williamson.

  1.  The November meeting minutes were approved.
  2.  Today's topic: Major Legislative Issues for the 2000 Session presented by Julie Reiskin, Executive Director, Colorado Cross Disability Coalition. CCDC will support/oppose the following legislation:
    1. Health Care:
      1. Medicaid: We will support the proposed budget and will support specifically the item on de-institutionalization. We will oppose the PCP redesign(like Senate Bill 5, pushing to go towards competitive billing). [If this happens we will lose doctors and who will define what is disabled? If the definition is according to special health care needs, all people will be considered disabled and Medicaid will attract all welfare cases. This redesign will make PCP too expensive.]We will be working to oppose the departmental efforts to relax caps on nursing homes imposed two years ago under Senate Bill 42. We will oppose this strongly in light of threats to cut rates of home health care providers.
      2. Health Care Task Force: There may be some bills or resolutions we will support. We will definitely support a freedom to practice measure.[There are three task force committees and 2 of 3 have consumers on them].
      3. We will oppose any restriction or punitive actions preventing the use of mail order pharmacy.
      4. We will support an effort by an amputee group to lift the DME cap in private insurance for the coverage of prosthetics.
      5. We will support any measures to make criminal physician assisted suicide(or other forms of murder of pwds) and support any resolution that is opposite.
      6. We will support efforts of parents to increase access to the Model 200 program if the parental fee issue is resolved.[deems parental income- the JBC asked for sliding scale fee:CCDC supports if fee sliding and reasonable; Currently there is no sponsorship of this effort and this is not a decision item. There are 437 existing slots, half of which are funded.]
      7. We are not adamant that the tobacco money must be spent only on health care.(as long as it is not spent on roads instead of schools..)
      8. If there are any patients rights measures we will probably support them.
      9. We will oppose any efforts by the insurance industry to weaken existing law.
    2. Housing
      1. We will oppose any effort to weaken or eliminate any state statute around access or discrimination. [CRS 95 101 says of all homes, except private, single-family, 1 in 7 must be accessible. This has been amended to create FHA style accessibility but requires a contract between local building departments and builders. Builders are bitter because they are not aware that this statute exists. Nancy Snow{disability committee} is educating builders. There exists a panel made of people with disabilities, Home Builders Association members, architects…trying to bring the language of the law up to contemporary standards. Thus far, the Home Builders Association is being difficult and not much is being agreed upon as far as language goes.]
      2. We will support a tax-credit proposal on home modifications for persons with or without disabilities to increase access.
      3. We will support the efforts of SOS8 in the city of Denver.
      4. We will support any other effort to increase affordable housing.
    3. Education
      1. We will support Feeley's bill on special education funding.
      2. We will monitor charter and voucher bills to make sure that children with disabilities are included. We will correct the assumption that the public schools always deal with our children. [ Whatever happens, the standards for children with disabilities must be addressed]
      3. We will support the Governor's literacy and reform program and make sure standards for students with disabilities remain high and accommodation is provided.[Rather than excluding children with disabilities to increase scores].
    4. Other
      1. We will support the effort of the Governor's Advisory Council for Persons With Disabilities to become codified.[ Sullivan and Gottleib supporting]
      2. We are supporting a bill that would fund Independent Living Centers to provide specific advocacy services to persons on the Aid to Needy Disabled Program.
      3. We will oppose any effort to make reporting of adult abuse and neglect mandatory regarding persons with disabilities.[Supported by Charles Carter, probably will be killed in Senate-not Mr. Carter, but the effort]
      4. Any bill supporting independence and self-sufficiency will be supported.
      5. CCDC will also look at the audit on voc. rehab(Doug Linkhard: chair of   audit committee) because there are great inequities in what voc. rehab is doing for TANF and not disability.
      6. We would like to see Bar Association support for Medicaid, and    Nursing Home caps- may or may not be a bill.
      7. CCDC has no position on seat belt law;
      8. CCDC is following a proposal to restructure Mental Health services.[Margaret Hammond is saying no need for legislation; DHS is now doing DD and mental health issues- even though there are Medicaid waivers; Jim Rizutto is saying this should go under the Department of Health Care Financing].
      9. CCDC will watch for Pueblo issue about higher security/new building for mid-security institution;(It is currently not safe for consumers and segregated).
      10. Looking at program that once people are out of prison, they have access to meds. The bills are not youth focused.
      11. Medicaid is looking at enforcing mental treatment through MAHASA's.
    5. Suggested problem: Criminal and Mental Health practitioners are not familiar with one another; This committee may want to initiate a task force of juvenile, criminal and disability practitioners. If interested, please let us know. We are discussing sending a memo to section committees who may be interested in the task force and setting up a meeting time. We will contact the ACLU and other committee members(ACL, mental health providers, public defenders, Rocky Mountain Children's Legal Center..) to ascertain what issues and what people might be interested in having this task force created.
    6. The Youth Law Center has litigation in the works involving IDEA/Mental Health in prisons.
    7. H.B. 1090 passed and now there is a minimum standard for restraint and seclusion; The department of health has promulgated regulations but has gone beyond the bill and is saying that restraint can be treatment. The purpose of the bill is that restraint should ONLY be used in situations of immediate threat. There will be a hearing in mid January.
    8. Terri Fowler is doing an ethics CLE regarding diminished capacity during our May meeting.(May 4th)

The January 5th meeting topic is:

The new “Work Incentives Improvement Act: Returning People with Disabilities to Work Without Losing Health Care Benefits.” One Cle credit has been applied for. CLE speaker is Laura Hershey. Thanks again.