Key actions and positions posted on the intersection of disability and education, jobs, immigration, climate crisis, criminal justice and more
Des Moines, Iowa, Jan. 14 – Presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar has responded to a detailed candidate questionnaire on disability issues. The questionnaire is from RespectAbility, a nonpartisan nonprofit disability organization that does not endorse candidates. The questionnaire is purely for educational purposes. RespectAbility has reached out to all of the major presidential campaigns on both sides of the aisle and will be posting all responses on The RespectAbility Report. The full text of RespectAbility’s questions and Klobuchar’s responses follows:
1. What policies and actions do you support to reduce the stigmas of people with disabilities that are barriers to employment, independence and equality?
Senator Klobuchar believes we must do more to combat the stigma of Americans with disabilities and advance their rights and full participation in society. As President, Senator Klobuchar will prioritize strong enforcement of civil rights legislation, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act, the Olmstead decision, the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, and other laws that protect the rights of people with disabilities. She will support full funding and staffing for the various Offices of Civil Rights and the Department of Justice’s Disability Rights Section offices to ensure disability cases are fully investigated.
Senator Klobuchar is also committed to promoting financial stability and security for people with disabilities. As President, she will work to pass the Raise the Wage Act — which she co-sponsors in the Senate — to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 for all workers and guarantee that all workers are paid at least the federal minimum wage by eliminating the subminimum wage for workers with disabilities. She is also committed to expanding and improving employment training programs for Americans with disabilities. She helped pass the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act in 2014, which strengthened workforce training and employment opportunities for people with disabilities. As President, she will oppose attempts to weaken the definition of competitive integrated employment. She will also expand the Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration, which provides funds and administers grant programs that offer training and employment assistance to people with disabilities.
In addition, Senator Klobuchar will expand tax credits — including the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, Disability Access Expenditures Tax Credit, and Architectural and Transportation Barrier Tax Credit — for employers who hire individuals with disabilities and make workplaces more accessible to those employees, and she will also support inclusion training programs for employers to address discrimination in the workplace.
In the Senate, Senator Klobuchar has championed policies to ensure that people who want to stay in their homes and communities can do so. She is a co-sponsor of the Disability Integration Act of 2019 and as President she will push to pass this legislation and address institutional bias in Medicaid to expand access to home and community-based services for people with disabilities. She will also promote remote monitoring technology and telehealth services in Medicare and other programs that improve the quality of life and expand access to quality home care and emergency hospital services in rural areas. Read more about Senator Klobuchar’s plan to protect equal rights and provide opportunity for people with disabilities here.