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Candidates 2018 Answers

Larry L. Rowe 
(D) Kanawha District/Circuit 36

Disability Rights
1. What initiatives would you undertake to ensure the protection of the Civil Rights of West Virginians with disabilities?

1.  First, we must enforce laws that ban discrimination, limit access, readiness and success of persons with disabilities. Enforcement is key. Creative policing is needed and the Fair Shake Network can help agencies charged with the duty to enforce.

2. How will you ensure West Virginia state entities and businesses are in compliance with the American with Disabilities Act to prevent discrimination against West Virginians with disabilities?

1.  I would consult with the Fair Shake Network representatives for programs and strategies to assure full enforcements. See Response to No. 1 above.

3. Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act covers all activities of State and Local Governments. The Act states that:

No qualified individual with a disability shall, on the basis of disability, be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of the services, programs, or activities of a public entity, or be subjected to discrimination by any public entity.

A public entity shall administer services, programs, and activities in the most integrated setting appropriate to the needs of qualified individuals with disabilities.  (a provision upheld by the Olmstead Decision of the US Supreme Court)

A public entity that employs 50 or more persons shall designate at least one employee to coordinate its efforts to comply with and carry out its responsibilities under this part, including any investigation of any complaint communicated to it alleging its noncompliance with this part or alleging any actions that would be prohibited by this part.

How can West Virginia best uphold the Olmstead US Supreme Court decision and comply with the most integrated setting provision in Title II of the Act?

1.  See Response to No. 2 above

4. Do you support Medicaid Expansion under the Affordable Care Act in West Virginia?  Why?

1.  I wholeheartedly support Medicaid expansion as a vital, most vital, part of our health care system. I oppose any encroachment on current Medicaid services and eligibility.

5. Do you support funding the Medicaid Waivers sufficiently to eliminate the waiting lists and make them accessible to those who need them? Why?
Yes.  We must add funds to gut the wait list.  A dedicated funding stream is needed.

 Community Services
6. What strategies will you use to ensure every West Virginian with a disability has access to a Center for Independent Living?

1.  See Response to No. 2.   I would rely on the Fair Shake Network to this regard.

7. How will you maximize West Virginia’s access to federal funding to improve and sustain services and supports for people with disabilities?
DHHHR and the Department of Education and HEPC must scout out funding and secure it for programs directed to help persons with disabilities to obtain all the federal and private dollars possible for these programs.  A Governor’s Commission on disability access, readiness and success should bring all agencies together, with focus on this issue.

8. How will you ensure FEMA funding received by West Virginia is used to meet the specific needs of survivors with disabilities following a disaster?

1.  FEMA funding must be secured and fairly and promptly distributed. Our state government is adrift in a number of areas without leadership.

9. Transportation in West Virginia, especially in rural areas is a problem for anyone who doesn’t own a vehicle.  However, due to the lack of accessible transportation it is an even bigger issue for people with disabilities.  Transportation is critical to the ability of an individual to work, live, and fully participate in his/her community.
What will you do to improve access to transportation statewide for all West Virginians, including people with disabilities?

1.  Better funding for public transportation services is needed. I support public transportation in all its forms especially for rural areas: bus, van, ambulance and other medical transport and car. See response to No. 2 above.

10.  A. How will you make sure all schools are aware of and access all transition services available for youth with disabilities?

1.  The Department of Education must inform agencies in charge and police enforcement of disability access and program development. I would rely on representatives from the Fair Shake Network to guide enforcers and legislators in this regard.

B. How will you enforce existing laws ensuring access to a Free and Appropriate Public Education for all youth with disabilities and ensure local school systems understand and comply with their responsibilities?
See response to No. 2. Above.

11. How will you ensure the existence of post-secondary education/training, services, and supports that facilitate all youth with disabilities becoming working, productive citizens?

The HEPC and Community and Technical Colleges must inform and enforce disability access and program development. See response to No. 2 above.

12. Although the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) has been federal law since 1975, many students with disabilities are still segregated, bused to a single school in the county, or otherwise excluded from the education in the “least restrictive environment” provision of IDEA. The integration of students with disabilities into general education classrooms and activities with typical students has been shown to increase acceptance, expectations, and inclusion and to reduce fear, misunderstanding, and bullying.  What steps will you take to increase integration of all students with disabilities in schools throughout West Virginia?

We should increase funding for inclusion services in the school aid formula.

13. 71.3% of working age West Virginians with disabilities are not in the workforce. What steps will you take to change that?  How will you ensure all working West Virginians with disabilities are paid at least minimum wage and eliminate sub-minimum wage?

Persons with disabilities should be trained and included in the workforce with targeted programs and funding streams to assure access, readiness, and success. Transportation needs must be met for those purposes for individuals wherever they may live and whatever limitations must be overcome. Work is the stuff of spirit and life itself.

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