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2018 Budget Proposal for Congress — Making Life Harder for Americans with Disabilities?

Capital-DC

The Trump administration released its 2018 budget proposal for Congress. (May 23, 2017)

Making life harder for Americans with disabilities? A preliminary review of only 3 budget areas raises the following concerns.

Medicaid: The budget cuts the Medicaid program by more than $600 billion from the program (which may be on top of $840 billion in cuts included in the House-passed American Health Care Act, should it become law). It will be cutting off access to home and community based services, impacting lives and independence of people with disabilities.

School vouchers: The budget includes $250 million for a new voucher program which will drain public schools and divert them to private and religious schools. Taxpayer dollars would be used to fund religious education and students with disabilities who attend private and religious schools through vouchers are deprived of civil rights protections that would otherwise be afforded to them in the public school system.

Civil rights enforcement: The budget proposes to eliminate the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) and transfer its functions to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). This could reduce protections in the workplace since each have very different missions. OFCCP is tasked with ensuring corporate contract compliance to federal contractors being paid with tax dollars to have a 7% goal of employees with disabilities in their workforce. The EEOC enforces laws that make it illegal to discriminate against people with disabilities seeking employment or employees for all businesses in America.