[nfbwatlk] FW: Constituent: Dept. of Services for the Blind

Mike Freeman k7uij at panix.com
Tue Feb 2 16:26:02 CST 2010


Noel:

BRAVO! Thanks for sharing your account of the hearing. I admit I found it a real gas to discover that the bill to be heard before 2953 would break up DSHS! I quoted it in my written testimony. Sorta fun when the testimony of others makes our case for us! (grin)

Thank you.

Mike Freeman

----- Original Message -----
From: "Nightingale, Noel" <Noel.Nightingale at ed.gov>
To: "'Ationfb of Washington Talk Mailing List'" <nfbwatlk at nfbnet.org>
Date: Tuesday, Feb 2, 2010 13:58:29
Subject: Re: [nfbwatlk] FW: Constituent: Dept. of Services for the Blind

>
>
> 
> While and leave and not mentioning my employer, I was at the hearing this morning along with my colleagues, Denise and Eric Mackenstadt, Bennett Prows, Jacob Struicksma,  Jim Janny, and Mary Helen Scheiber.  Please pardon me if I have forgotten anyone.  I have only time to jot down a few remarkable moments from the hearing.
> 
> Before the hearing on the DSB bill, HB 2953, there was a hearing on a bill that would split DSHS into four separate agencies.  It was remarkable for the testimony of that bill's sponsor, Representative Armstrong, as he described all the reasons why an agency of DSHS's size and breadth is ineffective.  It was a very nice platform from which the opposition to HB 2953 sprang.  It was also remarkable in that no one except he the DSHS Secretary spoke in defense of DSHS.  
> 
> As for HB 2953, there were approximately 30 or 40 blind guys and other advocates in attendance, all in opposition to HB 2953 that I could tell.  The other part of the bill, that would move the home care workers' authority into DSHS also had no defenders who testified.
> 
> We were all given one minute to speak and most of us were cut off before we could finish.
> 
> 
> Noel
> 
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: nfbwatlk-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:nfbwatlk-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Mike Freeman
> Sent: Tuesday, February 02, 2010 11:25 AM
> To: nfbwatlk at nfbnet.org
> Subject: Re: [nfbwatlk] FW: Constituent: Dept. of Services for the Blind
> 
> Jedi et al:
> 
> I've seen Joanne's note with Ed Orcutt's response. I'll have to think a bit as I am not sure there is an agency merger that makes sense although several plans have been floated.
> 
> I understand that the ranking minority member of the HHS Appropriations Committee (where the hearing was this morning) is against the bill so there will at least be a fight over the issue. We all await more first-hand accounts of what went on.
> 
> Mike
> 
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Jedi <loneblindjedi at samobile.net>
> To: nfbwatlk at nfbnet.org
> Date: Tuesday, Feb 2, 2010 11:04:48
> Subject: Re: [nfbwatlk] FW: Constituent: Dept. of Services for the Blind
> 
> >
> >
> > Huh. I got a response from Kevin Ranker some time ago which wasn't 
> > worth forwarding. the first paragraph was the prefunctory "thanks for 
> > your concern," and the last paragraph was more or less the same thing 
> > with the additional "it's great to see you involved in blind services,"
> > and with the rest of the message all about health care primarily with 
> > environmental issues thrown in for good measure. It was disappointing 
> > especially because I thought he would be a better candidate than that.
> > Joanne, if I were you, I'd forward that message to Mike freeman 
> > straight away since Mike's good at lobbying and legislation.
> > 
> > Respectfully,
> > Jedi
> > 
> > 
> > Original message:
> > > I am forwarding the response that I received from Representative Ed 
> > > Orcutt regarding HB 2953. He is on our side. But in the event our 
> > > efforts are not successful he is seeking ideas for alternatives. 
> > > Please read his comments below and respond directly to him, or if 
> > > you prefer, I will forward any RESPECTFUL messages to him. (In 
> > > addition to the message below, I just received two more emails from 
> > > him so he clearly has taken notice and is showing concern). I am 
> > > only the cheerleader, not the lobbyist, so you guys take it from here!
> > 
> > 
> > > -----Original Message-----
> > > From: Orcutt, Rep. Ed [mailto:Orcutt.Ed at leg.wa.gov]
> > > Sent: February 01, 2010 5:45 PM
> > > To: 'Joanne Laurent'
> > > Subject: RE: Constituent: Dept. of Services for the Blind
> > 
> > > Joanne,
> > 
> > > I am very concerned about whether DSHS is capable of handling 
> > > services for the blind -- I'm not particularly confident in their 
> > > abilities in many areas. As we seek to find ways to reduce the cost 
> > > of programs without negatively affecting those programs, I am very 
> > > interested in ideas on how we can find and implement cost savings. 
> > > Do you have ideas on where we could merge this agency to achieve 
> > > cost savings while protecting the quality of services currently 
> > > provided? I am genuinely interested in specific options you may be able to develop to enable us to achieve these goals.
> > 
> > > Ed
> > 
> > > -----Original Message-----
> > > From: Joanne Laurent [mailto:joanne at blindcoach.com]
> > > Sent: Sunday, January 31, 2010 9:53 PM
> > > To: Orcutt, Rep. Ed
> > > Subject: RE: Constituent: Dept. of Services for the Blind
> > 
> > > Hello Representative Orcutt,
> > >    I am attaching a copy of my written testimony regarding HB 2953 
> > > abolishing Services for the Blind. I do hope you will read it so you 
> > > understand why I am opposed to this bill and why it is in the 
> > > state's best interest to abandon this particular piece of the 
> > > proposed budget. This issue is much bigger than blindness; it is a manifestation of what you, J.
> > > Herrera, & Sen. Zarelli predicted would happen last spring during a 
> > > town hall meeting. I do hope I can count on your support in fighting 
> > > against this legislation. Thank you.
> > 
> > > Joanne Laurent
> > > Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist If you can't learn it, 
> > > I'm not teaching it right!
> > > www.blindcoach.com
> > 
> > > Highest Expectations Travel and Adaptive Skills Instruction for the 
> > > Blind P.O. Box 586 Ariel, WA 98603
> > > (360) 231-4597
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > > _______________________________________________
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> > 
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