Gov't Affairs/Public Policy

Through the years, The Council on Developmental Disabilities has responded to gaps in services for people with disabilities wherever they are found. Our public policy efforts have led to changes in laws, services and expectations that have reshaped the culture and landscape for all Kentuckians with developmental disabilities. We actively monitor public policies, legislation and regulations that impact our constituents and their families. We negotiate with Executive Branch officials and communicate with legislators, seeking to amend and propose policies and legislation to best serve the interests of the people we serve.

Our public policy successes include:

  • Organizing the Coalition for Quality and Choice (1999). This coalition of 52 organizations successfully secured an unprecedented increase in expenditures to serve Kentuckians with disabilities.
  • Helping lead the movement to pass Adult Protection Registry legislation to prevent the abuse, neglect and exploitation of older adults and individuals with disabilities in our state. After a six-year push, the Registry became law in spring 2014.
News at the federal level

Federal Government: Updates on Medicaid Waivers -

Click here for an overview of changes to the Affordable Care Act focusing on provisions of particular interest to IDD providers.

News from the current legislative session

Each Legislative Session, we seize any opportunity to enhance the rights and improve the lives of our constituents. Sometimes that requires amending legislation that has a credible chance to become law. Sometimes that means working to defeat legislation that limits the rights of people with DD or threatens needs, benefits and services. Often we must accept compromises in the name of incremental progress. That is the nature of the political process. Odd year Sessions (such as 2017) are half as long as even years and do not include passage of a budget. It can be a real challenge to pass any substantive bill into law in 30 days. So, we focus on bills that have momentum. Also, it is customary to "do some groundwork" in the first year, knowing that passage into law may take several years of effort. Any questions or comments on our public policy efforts may be directed to our Chief Executive Officer, Donovan Fornwalt

Click here to read our most recent policy brief from the 2017 Legislative Session. Click here to learn more about kinship care, which is addressed in Senate Bill 29 -- we support & applaud Kentucky Youth Advocates for its leadership on this issue.

Click here to read the public policy brief from the 2016 Legislative Session.

Partnering to protect people with disabilities

Attorney General Andy Beshear (center), shown with Council CEO Donovan Fornwalt and Dr. Matt Holder, president of the Council's board, affirms his commitment to protect people with disabilities from abuse, neglect and exploitation. The Council is grateful to partner with the Attorney General on this important matter. Learn more about the AG's priorities here.