With each passing day, people with disabilities are becoming more vulnerable as they face uncertainty and a loss of services in this pandemic. Your funds will help us keep some critcal services in place right now, like our mental health services.
As Governor, I will strongly uphold, support and protect the crucial pieces of legislation that protect the disabled community, including the ADA, the IDEA and 504. Disability advocates have done courageous work in advancing these pieces of legislation to support individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, and transportation. I want to work together with disability advocates to ensure that none of that work is rolled back and we strengthen these protections.
However, as the Trump Administration has signaled, the disability community could be under grave threat. Their proposal for Medicaid block grants would fundamentally change the way in which disability services are delivered. If they are successful, we would see eligibility changes, coverage cutbacks and longer waiting lists. As Governor, I will fight with everything that I have to ensure that that does not happen. Working with New Jersey’s congressional delegation and disability advocates, we will push back hard against those proposed changes.
Beyond that, we have much work to do here in New Jersey. We need to help ease the transition for disabled individuals between education and adulthood. As many disability advocates have said, in the law’s eyes, it’s almost as though someone with disabilities vanishes when they turn 21. We need to change that by helping families wade through the patchwork of regulations and get access to the services they are legally entitled to. This is especially true when it comes to housing. I know that too many families wait years for affordable, accessible housing for disabled individuals. As Governor, I would work to shorten that waiting period.
I’m running for Governor because I want to represent all individuals, especially those who have often been ignored by previous Governors. That’s my promise to you. I hope to work with you all to better protect the disabled community for many years to come.