April Policy Updates
For a change of pace, let's start with some good news!
Congratulations to Washington State as SB5284, a bill to eliminate subminimum wage for people with disabilities, was signed into law! Washington is the 6th state to phase out subminimum wage and the use of 14c certificates via state legislation.
But wait, there's more! (Good news, that is!)
The Transformation to Competitive Integrated Employment Act (TCIEA, HR2373) was reintroduced by the House Committee on Education & Labor.
TCIEA will provide states and employers with resources to transition workers with disabilities into fully integrated and competitive jobs while phasing out the subminimum wage for individuals with disabilities.
The Biden Administration announced the American Job's Plan (otherwise known as the "infrastructure package"). While the plan represents a starting point for negotiations in Congress, the plan communicates priorities for the new Administration. Of note, the ~$2 trillion package includes:
- $100 billion for broadband infrastructure and expansion
- $5 billion for job creation and growth in rural and tribal communities
- $48 billion for workforce development infrastructure and worker protection, including registered apprenticeships for underserved populations
- $12 billion for job training for women, people of color, and formerly incarcerated individuals
- $400 billion for Home and Community Based services for seniors and individuals with disabilities
- The package also calls for a phase-out of 14c and subminimum wage for people with disabilities.
Advocacy in Action
National APSE submitted comments to the Biden Administration and members of Congress on a number of issues this past month.
- The Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) issued a call for comments on the Criterion for an Integrated Employment Location in the Definition of “Competitive Integrated Employment” and Participant Choice. You can read APSE's response HERE.
- The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee requested input from stakeholders on policy ideas on workforce development, including reforms to programs authorized under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and ways to develop, modernize, and diversify the national apprenticeship system. You can read APSE's response HERE.
- Senators Hassan (NH), Brown (OH), and Casey (PA) and Representative Dingell (MI) released a discussion draft of the Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Access Act to gather comments and suggestions on the bill, which calls for significant reform to the Medicaid system. You can read APSE's response HERE.
So, what is next for 14(c)? And what else is going on in Federal policy?
We have a page on our website dedicated to state legislative initiatives
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