Press Releases

DRW Applauds Assembly for Passing SB 527 Seclusion and Restraint Law

WIsconsinEye passing of senate bill 527
Disability Rights Wisconsin applauds the full Assembly for passing SB 527 which makes common-sense changes to Wisconsin’s seclusion and restraint law.  We especially thank Representatives Quinn and Considine for their leadership in the Assembly on this bill.  Please see our Release on the Passing of SB 527. In February 2016, Wisconsin Family Ties (WFT), Disability Rights Wisconsin (DRW), and WI FACETS produced a report Miles to Go detailing the distressingly high data on restraint and…
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DRW congratulates Governor Evers for his efforts on behalf of people with disabilities

Governor Tony Evers
In his State of the State speech last night, Governor Evers highlighted two important legislative successes last year for people with disabilities and he identified an important priority for the coming year. One of these successes was a bipartisan effort resulting in the passage of Wisconsin Act 48, which changed a polling place rule that was a barrier to some people with disabilities.  We were pleased that the Governor recognized DRW’s and advocacy partners’ successful…
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Disability Rights Wisconsin Applauds Signing of AB168

Denise Johnson testifying for AB168
Today, Governor Evers will sign into law AB 168 which addresses a significant barrier to voting for some voters with disabilities.  Wisconsin law requires voters to speak their name and address at the polling place before voting.  AB 168 will allow voters who cannot state their name and address to have an election official or another individual selected by the voter state the name and address for them. During the November 2018 election. DRW received…
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DRW Supports Governor’s Veto of Bill Reducing Training for CNAs

Three CNA students gathered around a table, studying
DRW has issued a press release in support of The Governor’s veto of 2019 SB 103, a bill that would have reduced the training requirements for Certified Nurse Aides (CNAs) from 120 hours to 75 hours.  DRW appreciates the desire to solve the workforce problem and is grateful to policy makers who are trying to address it. However, while the bill may have been a well-intentioned effort to aid in alleviating the care taker workforce…
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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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