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

Prows, Bennett (HHS/OCR) Bennett.Prows at HHS.GOV
Wed Feb 3 09:42:33 CST 2010


Hi Joanne and All,

Looked for you yesterday, Joanne.  Sorry you couldn't be there.  You
are, believe me,   *more* than a "cheer leader."  And, by the way, none
of us is a "lobbyist".  That term is saved for the for profit employees
of Corporations, and others paid to do the work.  We educate the
legislature to our position, and man did they get an education
yesterday.

As was said here, there was no one there to testify in favor of the
governor's  bill.  The bill to abolish the DSHS structure, sponsored by
Representative Armstrong from the 17th Legislative District, HB 2197 is
very interesting in its proposal to put certain categories of services
together.  Might want to alert your representative to that bill for
study as one idea on how to save money and consolidate rationally.  It
doesn't have services to the blind in it, which is great.

Nice job by all who attended, and we can only hope that the chairman of
the committee saw the ridiculousness of supporting this bill.  Noel was
identified as a constituent of the chairman.  It's always great to have
such a person in attendance.  

We should all follow up with our Reps now, and even contact our senators
too. We can only hope that in light of the overwhelming opposition to
HB2953, the legislature will be brave enough to oppose the governor and
this proposal.

/s/

Bennett Prows



-----Original Message-----
From: nfbwatlk-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:nfbwatlk-bounces at nfbnet.org]
On Behalf Of Joanne Laurent
Sent: Tuesday, February 02, 2010 10:08 AM
To: nfbwatlk at nfbnet.org
Subject: [nfbwatlk] FW: Constituent: Dept. of Services for the Blind

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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