Congress will return to DC in mid-November, but it’s been reported that work on FY 2017 spending is already underway. This means that it’s crucial for your Senators and Representatives to hear from you as soon as possible! With members of Congress at home campaigning, now is the perfect time to meet with them or have them visit your CIL to educate them on the importance of the independent living program.
The current short-term continuing resolution (CR) funds the government through December 9, 2016, and it includes a .496 percent cut to most FY 2016 spending levels. These cuts are just the latest in what has now become a pattern of funding cuts for IL over the past six years or so. Not only must we ensure that this cut does not make it into the longer-term spending bill, but we also need to keep fighting for our goal of an additional $200 million for the independent living program! We need this additional funding now more than ever in order to restore the devastating cuts we’ve experienced, address the increased demand for independent living services, and effectively carry out our new fifth core service.
The independent living community works day in and day out to provide services to millions of people with disabilities around the country; people living in every single district and territory in the country. CILs have fought for decades to ensure that people with disabilities can remain in our own homes, control our own lives, and participate in our communities. In doing so, many people have become less reliant on long-term government services, actually saving States and the Federal government money. It is vital that our members of Congress understand the important role the IL program plays in their community, the dire need for additional funding, and importantly, the incredible value of the program.
Please check out our fact sheet and talking points, and then call your Senators and Representatives!
Once you’ve talked or met with your Senators and/or Representatives, please report back to your Regional Representative! See below for contact information. [Read more…]