116th Congress calls for the phasing out of 14(c), advances Competitive Integrated Employment

Welcome to the 2019 legislative season and the 116th Congress! It’s been a wild ride so far. Yet while January got off to a rocky start, being in the midst of a historic shutdown of the Federal Government, we ended on a high note with the announcement of the introduction of the Transformation to Competitive Employment Act (HR 873 / S. 260), a bipartisan and bicameral bill which aims to support states to transition away from sheltered employment, the use of 14(c) certificates, and subminimum wage.

APSE has long supported the elimination of 14(c) and the use of subminimum wage, having issued a formal statement in 2010. As a member of the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities and the Coalition to Advance Competitive Integrated Employment (CIE), APSE released a letter of support for the Transformation to Competitive Employment Act. This is an infrastructure investment bill, which would provide funding and technical assistance to states to develop new service delivery models that support CIE (as defined in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, WIOA). National APSE will be providing tools and templates for State Chapters who wish to submit similar letters of support, so be on the lookout for those over the coming week.

What else can you do at the State level? The Transformation to Competitive Employment Act is in need of additional co-sponsors. We are grateful to Chairman Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) for their support of HR 873; and to Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) for their support of S. 260.

  • If you are from Virginia, Washington, Pennsylvania or Maryland, please reach out to your Member of Congress to thank them!
  • Reach out to your Members of Congress to ask for their support of these bills. A fact sheet, with more information on what is included in the bill, is available online.

Again, more information, including talking points to use when engaging with your Members, will be provided over the coming week.

Speaking of WIOA, APSE continues to monitor the potential reopening of the WIOA regulations – including the definition of CIE. If there was something good to come from the prolonged shutdown, it was the temporary stalling of this effort. This allowed the extra time to prepare for a response to the Notice of Proposed Rule Making. Stay tuned, as we will be reaching out for help from APSE members and State Chapters to be a unified voice in telling the Federal government that in order to continue to advance the economic self-sufficiency of people with disabilities, as called for by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), CIE must remain a priority.

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