Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Arc of North Carolina Legislative Agenda

The Arc of North Carolina advocates for and with families and people with cognitive and developmental disabilities. We believe that the following legislative agenda promotes our goals of advocacy, inclusion, and access to the communities we live in.

Health and Human Services:

SB 1794 and HB 2361 Funds for CAP/MR-DD Slots
To increase funding by $10 million dollars to open new Tier 1/Support Waiver CAP/MR-DD Slots.  This funding will open 1,440 new slots and will reduce the current wait for this critical service.

Coalition Budget:
The Arc of North Carolina supports fully the budget proposals put forth by The Coalition.

Housing 400 Initiative:
The Housing 400 Initiative provides affordable and accessible housing options for people with developmental disabilities.  We fully support the request by the Housing Finance Agency of $10 million dollars in recurring funding to this critical and nationally recognized program.


Funding for Special Needs Programs:
The Arc of North Carolina supports the efforts of Representative Glazier and Representative Lucas on securing needed increased funding for special needs programs in our public schools.

HB 12: Students Ineligible for Special Education Protection
This bill protects a narrow group of students with disabilities who are entitled to special education services and protections under the law.

HB 1366: School Violence Prevention Act.
This legislation would direct the School Board on creating a bullying policy that addresses the causes of bullying, identifies the most vulnerable school populations to bullying and assists in creating a safe school environment.

HB 388: Tax Credit for Special Needs Children.
This bill will offer a credit to families that have children with special needs that are either home schooled or are in private school.  This bill speaks to our continued advocacy efforts for all parents of children with special needs.  

Social Justice:

SB 334: Fair Housing Act Amendment.
This legislation prohibits discrimination on the basis or receipt of housing assistance. Many people with disabilities receive housing assistance. This legislation if passed would assist in opening more housing opportunities to the disability community.

HB 1711: Establish Paid Sick Leave:
Only 58 percent of workers in North Carolina have paid sick days. This legislation would ensure a minimum paid sick day standard in North Carolina. This standard would save $8.11 per worker per week. Ideally paid sick days would cover time off to care for ill children. Nationally 30 percent of workers have paid sick days for staying home with an ill child.

Higher Education:

SB 1498: Study Disabled Access to UNC Facilities.
This bill would direct the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina study the accessibility of its facilities to people with severe physical disabilities seeking basic access to higher education within the state university system.  


Housing Trust Fund/Housing 400 Initiative.
The Housing 400 Initiative has been the most successful program to come out of Mental Health/Developmental Disability/Substance Abuse Reform. This program receives its funding from the Housing Trust Fund. The Arc of North Carolina has been working with the NC Housing Coalition to stress the importance of affordable housing options for people with developmental and cognitive disabilities. We support the appropriation of $10 million to the Housing Trust Fund and $10 million to the Housing 400 Initiative.

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