I am a husband, father, son, brother, uncle and friend. I believe in sharing my talents and experiences by giving back to the community by giving my time to coaching, church and especially to the disability community. I truly believe that all men and women are created equally.
We are heading into the home stretch with the State Budget. Joint Finance is expected to release their proposed budget this week to allow debates to take place in both the State Senate and State House. One thing is clear to me, two of the biggest issues in the Budget are not friendly to individuals with disabilities.
Wednesday is the big day for those that have been following the State Budget and how it will have a significant impact on Wisconsin residents that rely on Long Term Care Supports in the IRIS and Family Care programs. Joint Finance is scheduled to have conversations about the subject. I think the outcome will be very telling. There are no statewide disability organizations that had any input or supports the elimination of the IRIS Program and significant changes to Family Care. If everything is left as proposed, there will be significant job loses within the State. It is not what the residents of the State of Wisconsin want.
It appears that the Committee on Joint Finance has decided to remove the elimination of the IRIS Program from the State Budget. I applaud this decision by key members of Joint Finance. But, as I have mentioned before, this is just the beginning of new advocacy opportunities.
Over the last couple of months, I have shared my thoughts on various impacts on the proposed radical changes of eliminating the IRIS Program and significantly changing Family Care. I have talked a lot about the number of jobs that will be eliminated the economic impact these changes will have on Wisconsin workers, employers and communities. I have pointed out that there are no disability advocacy organizations that support this proposal in the State. I have not spent much time talking about the 2 most important groups of people that this will affect. The individuals that rely on these programs and their family and friends.