Press Releases

DRW Statement on the Budget Approved by Finance Committee

Wisconsin State Capitol
The Joint Committee on Finance has completed its work on the State Budget. Disability Rights Wisconsin has released a statement on the budget approved by the Joint Finance Committee, noting the positive investments for people with disabilities, and the missed opportunities to help people with disabilities to have healthy, active lives as contributing members of their communities. The budget now moves to the State Assembly and Senate for approval, with voting expected the week of…
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DRW Disappointed with Joint Finance Committee Vote

Wisconsin State Capitol
On May 9th, the Joint Committee on Finance met for the first time to vote on the proposed 2019 – 2021 state budget. The Committee voted to remove Medicaid Expansion from the Governor’s Budget. The joint finance committee voted against it 11-4, along party lines. Disability Rights Wisconsin is disappointed by the Joint Finance Committee vote to remove Medicaid expansion from the Governor’s budget proposal. DRW has supported Medicaid expansion. Many people with disabilities, older…
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DRW Celebrates Governor’s Announcement on Caregiving Task Force

Tony Evers, Chris L'Heureux, Kit Kerschensteiner, Lea Kitz, and Bill Crowley at Governor's office.
Disability Rights Wisconsin attended Governor Evers’ signing of an Executive Order to form a Caregiving Task Force on strengthening the direct care workforce and supporting families providing care for their loved ones. The Task Force will study caregiver recruitment and retention, compensation and benefits, access to healthcare, and provider registries. Wisconsin has been a leader in developing innovative ways to support people of all ages with disabilities in the community. Lea Kitz, Executive Director said,…
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DRW Joins Lawsuit to Prevent Enforcement of Bills Passed by Wisconsin Legislature

Wisconsin legislature at state capitol
DRW has joined with the League of Women Voters, Black Leaders Organizing for Communities and several other plaintiffs to file a lawsuit today in Dane County Circuit Court challenging the enforceability of the legislation adopted during an “extraordinary session” of the Wisconsin Legislature last month. The lawsuit asks the court to prevent the Wisconsin Election Commission and Governor Tony Evers from enforcing or implementing any of the provisions of the newly enacted laws. The lawsuit…
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Successful Lawsuit Invalidating Extraordinary Session Laws

Front doors of the Dane County Courthouse
Disability Rights Wisconsin was pleased with the ruling of the Dane County Circuit Court today which struck down the entirety of the “extraordinary session” as unconstitutional. As part of this ‘extraordinary session’ provisions were adopted that made dramatic changes to Wisconsin’s Medicaid program. Those changes put Wisconsinites with disabilities at risk and undermine DRW’s ability to effectively carry out its federally designated protection and advocacy functions as well as have wide-reaching negative effects on Wisconsin…
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Disability Rights Wisconsin Names New Executive Director

Lea Kitz
Disability Rights Wisconsin (DRW) has named Lea Kitz as the disability advocacy organization’s new Executive Director. Kitz has managed DRW’s Family Care and IRIS Ombudsman Program for nearly 8 years. Before joining DRW, she served as Executive Director of Arc-Winnebago County Disability Association. Kitz brings her extensive hands-on and leadership experience in the areas of domestic abuse, employment, benefits, and disability advocacy. “We are pleased to have Ms. Kitz step into this key role,” says…
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Extraordinary Session Puts Wisconsinites with Disabilities at Risk

Wisconsin State Capitol
Disability Rights Wisconsin is deeply concerned by the Legislature’s rush to push forward bills released late Friday in the Extraordinary Session planned for today. The proposals give oversight of Wisconsin Medicaid waivers to the legislature, leaving state agencies potentially unable to carry out their core mission. This shift has the possibility to affect services that are critical to adults and families of children with disabilities, including Family Care, IRIS, mental health services, Children’s Long-Term Waiver…
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Disability Drug Benefit Helpline Wins 2018 ACE Award

The ACE Awards honor and celebrate organizations that help older people and persons with disabilities stay healthy and independent. DRW’s Disability Drug Benefit Helpline was chosen to receive this award at the 2018 Aging & Disability Network Conference in the Wisconsin Dells. Accepting the award on behalf of DRW was Ginger Rogers, Medicare Part D Project Coordinator; she was joined by Denise Dable, Medicare Part D Advocacy Specialist; and Ryan Farrell, Supervising Attorney. To find out more about how…
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DRW Commends Proposed Increase in Special Education Funding

A light bulb within a thought bubble.
For Immediate Release July 30th, 2018 Contact:   Sally Flaschberger, Sally.flaschberger@drwi.org; (414)292-2737 Barbara Beckert; Barbara.beckert@drwi.org; (414) 773-4646 Madison, WI- Disability Rights Wisconsin (DRW) is encouraged to see Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers’ proposal to invest an additional $600 million in funding for special education in Wisconsin. After almost a decade of flat funding, the proposal helps to finally address the serious gap in state funding for special education and alleviate the pressure on school districts…
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DRW Applauds New Legislation for People with Disabilities

Advocates and legislators at bill signing with Governor Walker for support decision making
For Immediate Release: April 16, 2018 Contact: Amy Devine, 608-267-0214 Madison, WI- Disability Rights Wisconsin (DRW) celebrates the Governor’s signing of the Supported Decision-Making legislation (AB 655) and the “Partners with Business” legislation (AB 819) today. DRW has been a champion of supported decision-making as another tool for people with disabilities and older adults to use in their daily lives. This legislation will allow people with disabilities and older adults to formally designate others they…
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