Our Legislative Action Corner is to keep you informed about and involved in all important hearing loss issues. . Get involved by exploring our action items below:
Legislative Update: HLAA Wisconsin proposed two bills to state legislators in 2019 designed to help the nearly 500,000 people in Wisconsin who suffer from hearing loss. The bills became numbered, but did not reach the level to be debated and voted on before the session ended. The legislative committee will reintroduce the bills in 2020. A goal is to seek bipartisan support. This is partly about making communication access a required part of dispensing & fitting hearing aids. Everyone who uses hearing aids should be concerned when the people who sell them to us don’t feel obligated to do that. You CAN help. We can change this as 9 other states have.
Forty years ago, a state commission recommended that Wisconsin provide mental health services for Hard-Of-Hearing, Deaf, and Deaf-Bind people by providers who understand our specific needs. Now Governor Evers has proposed a 1.9 million dollar funding.
The Legislature has rejected Governor Evers’ budget and is creating its own budget. Because they have done this, it is vital that Legislators hear from members of HLAA and other interested people and are asked to include the funding for mental health for Hard-of-Hearing, Deaf, and Deaf-Blind people that Governor Evers proposed.
HLAA-Wisconsin, through Jack Spear, our Mental Health representative, has been working with related hearing/ hard-of-hearing/deaf organizations to promote this legislation.
If you believe that the Legislature should include mental health funding for Hardof-Hearing people, it is critical that you contact both your Assembly and Senate representatives and tell them how important this is to you. It would also be very helpful to also send the same message to the Joint Finance Committee which is the committee responsible for putting together the budget. You may use the attached fact sheet to make your point and support your request. In your response explain how this funding will personally benefit you, your family, your friends, or your coworkers. This is time sensitive so please act as soon as possible.
You will find a sample letter HERE To find your Assembly and Senate representatives, click HERE This form will also give you the address, email address, and telephone number of your representatives. To send a message to the Joint Finance Committee Members, click HERE