Advocacy

CTD has built a reputation as one of the foremost advocates in the state for public policy that protects and benefits Texans with disabilities. Whether the Legislature is in session or we're in an interim year, be assured that CTD is working for you at the Capitol!

The 86th Texas Legislature convened Tuesday, January 8, 2019 and runs through Monday, May 27.

Top Priorities

Attendant Wages

Recruitment and retention of this crucial workforce is at high risk due to an extremely low base wage, no benefits, increasing demand, and alternative employers paying much higher wages. We recommend an increase in the hourly base wage to $10.00 in 2019.

Access to Medical Cannabis

We support the expansion of the Texas Compassionate Use Program to cover more Texans. Current policy on medical cannabis and qualifying conditions allows access to safe and legal cannabis to less than 1% of Texans, when many more, include some disabilities, could benefit.

Access to Oral and Dental Care

More than 400,000 adult Texans in Medicaid receive little to no dental services. When these individuals have dental pain, their only option is the emergency room. A dental benefit would not only improve their oral and overall health outcomes, but also make better use of public funds.

Special Education Reform

Texas' public school finance could be facing some radical changes in 2019. The Texas Legislature must NOT leave special education students behind in this overhaul by neglecting to make changes to special education programs, too.

School Mental Health Services

Youth with intellectual developmental disabilities are 3 times more likely to experience trauma and abuse than their peers. The Legislature should strengthen school-based mental health supports and practices to foster a safe school climate and ensure that school safety policies do not target students with disabilities and/or mental health issues.

State Budget & Appropriations

Legislators should prioritize the needs of their constituents over tax and budget cuts. In 2019, we urge legislators to fund programs that support adults and children with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), personal attendants, families in Medicaid managed care, and adults with psychiatric disabilities.

Other priorities

Accessible Parking

Early Childhood Intervention

We join lead organization Texans Care for Children in urging the Legislature to add HHSC’s $71 million Exceptional Item to the state budget to strengthen and sustain ECI. This investment will ensure little Texans get the early intervention supports they need to get on a strong developmental track and be ready for school.

Employment Opportunities

Adding people with disabilities to the Historically Underutilized Business program (HUB) will increase entrepreneurship, support self-employment, and sponsor small business ventures for a historically disadvantaged minority. This will, in turn, provide the state of Texas with valuable goods and services.

Guardianship Reform

A guardianship compliance program at the Office of Court Administration will indicate important information about cases of neglect or abuse of seniors and people with disabilities under guardianships.

Medicaid Expansion

We support the Cover Texas Now coalition in advocating to put Medicaid expansion to a public vote through a constitutional amendment ballot measure, a new approach to addressing this issue. Texans broadly support Medicaid expansion, but in 6 years, political leaders have not taken the necessary steps to expand health care for all Texans. Meanwhile, our rate and number of uninsured continues to be the highest in the nation and is growing.

Non-Medical Switching

As a member of the Coalition for Stable Patients, we support measures to end the practice of non-medical switching in Texas. Non-medical switching is a set of tactics health insurers use to switch stable consumers off their already-prescribed medications for non-medical reasons. It can take months or even years for a person with a chronic condition and their doctor to find an effective medication; insurance companies should not stand in the way of their stable health.

Voting

CTD joins a coalition of disability and voting and civil rights organizations in expressing major concerns about voter fraud bills that threaten the rights of voters with disabilities. New requirements for providing assistance to voters with disabilities—that carry potential criminal penalties—could have a chilling effect on the number of people willing to assist Texas voters with disabilities.

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