The Arc of Tennessee ®
The Arc’s network of national, state and local chapters impacts public policy at all levels. Through our advocacy and grassroots mobilization, we work to protect the rights of people with IDD and their families.
To read The Arc's position statements, click HERE.
To read The Arc Tennessee’s public policy priorities, click HERE.
State Government and State Legislation
To keep up with the activities of the Tennessee General Assembly, visit their website at http://www.capitol.tn.gov/.
To view the Senate Committees, click HERE.
In response to the Coronavirus crisis, Governor Lee amended his budget that was presented back in February and removed or reduced much of the funding for new or expanded initiatives. Review these changes HERE.
Governor Bill Lee wants to hear your thoughts on legislation. To share them, visit his bill review webpage HERE.
The Council on Developmental Disabilities publishes a weekly policy update through a listserv. To sign up for these emails click HERE.
For The Arc TN Legislative Updates:Legislative Update (pdf)
SB1612/HB1596 Creates an Office for Accessible Transportation within the TN Department of Transportation. This legislation passed both the House and the Senate before the recess and is awaiting the Governor’s signature.
SB1892/HB1699 Revise the laws around telehealth and telemedicine. It passed the House and the Senate with several amendments before the recess and is awaiting the Governor’s signature.
Low wages for Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) continue to be a critical issue both in Tennessee and across the country. Click HERE to view The Arc TN’s talking points on DSP wages. To learn more about what is being done nationally about DSP wages, visit the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) webpage HERE.
To view a short video on why DSPs are so important in the lives of people with I/DD, click HERE.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), TennCare, the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and the Department of Education Respond to the Coronavirus Crisis
Tennessee’s Proposed Katie Beckett Program Awaiting Approval from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).TennCare and DIDD are hard at work developing the infrastructure to implement the Katie Beckett Program upon approval from CMS. If all goes as planned, the proposed roll out will be the summer of 2020.
To learn more about the Katie Becket program and to get put on the contact list for receiving updates about the program, please click HERE.
The Disability Advocacy Network
Federal Government & Federal Legislation
The Arc Tennessee and other organizations filed a complaint with the United States Office of Civil Rights on Friday, March 27, 2020 calling for immediate attention to Tennessee’s treatment rationing plan, as it pertains to the COVID-19 response and people with disabilities. Currently, Tennessee protocol would discriminate against people with disabilities by violating federal disability rights laws.
To view the official complaint filed click HERE.
To view The Arc Tennesse's press release about the complaint, click HERE.
Advocacy needed! Tell our Tennessee Congressional Delegation that People with Disabilities and their Caregivers Must be Included in Coronavirus Relief!
As Congress continues to consider relief packages to address the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, it is important that they included people with disabilities and their caregivers. Contact Senator Lamar Alexander, Senator Marsha Blackburn and your Congressman HERE.
To view The Arc US CARES ACT COVID-19 Package 3:Brief Update, click HERE.
To view what individual states are doing to address the Coronavirus crisis, click HERE.
The Arc Tennessee submitted public comment on the proposed rule change for Continuing Disability Reviews for SSI/SSDI. To read those comments, click HERE.
Your Voice Matters!
Contact Carrie Hobbs Guiden for more information on how to get involved in public policy advocacy with The Arc.
Ongoing Medicaid (TennCare) Advocacy
Medicaid (TennCare) Facts
Medicaid (TennCare in Tennessee) is a jointly funded program with matching state and federal funds. Under the current funding structure, TennCare receives $2 in federal funds for every $1 in state funds included in their budget. Any cuts to the federal portion of Medicaid via per capita caps, block grants or other mechanisms will have a devastating impact on services and supports for Tennesseans with disabilities such as:
The needs of people with IDD and their families must be considered when passing or changing any law, or developing or changing any program that could impact their quality of life. People with IDD have the same rights as every other citizen. To learn more about other public policy issues important to people with IDD and their families, visit The Arc US website Public Policy and Legal Advocacy page.
2020 US Census
The US census helps to direct billions annually in federal funding. Census data is used by businesses, governments, and civic organizations to inform decision making about what services should be available in local areas, and it impacts Congressional representation.
The Arc is excited to share new resources, including videos and written materials, to support people with disabilities and beyond in understanding what the census is, why it's important for people with disabilities, and how to complete it.Check out more census resources for individuals HERE.
Voting is both a right and a responsibility:
A RIGHT: As a citizen in the United States who is over 18 years old, you have the right to vote. When you vote you help elect the people who make the laws that affect your life.
Kindred Stories is a joint project between Vanderbilt Kennedy Center and The Arc Tennessee that shares individual and family stories on topics of importance. These collections of stories that are shared with state and federal elected officials can be read HERE. To download the latest issue "Civic Engagement" click HERE.
Disability Policy Alliance