REV UP KY 2016

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REV UP KY is a non-partisan, cross disability, coalition of organizations and interested citizens who advocate for full political participation for Americans with disabilities. The disability community—people with disabilities, family members, attendants, providers, professionals, advocates and supporters—has a major stake in the outcome of this election.

REV-UP KY sent voter guide questionnaires to KY candidates for US Senate and US Congress. Below are the returned responses from the candidates. Note that only Candidates running for US. Senate and Candidates for US Congress Districts #1, #3, #4, and #6 were contacted. Candidates from District #4 Calvin Sidle ((D-Pikeville) and Thomas Massie (R Vanceburg) [Incumbent] were contacted, but no responses were returned.

Presidential candidates Clinton and Trump have answered questions posed to them by the national Rev-Up movement. To see their answers, please use the below links:

Clinton: http://www.aapd.com/…/clinton-campaign-response-to-rev-up-…/

Trump: http://www.aapd.com/…/trump-campaign-response-rev-question…/

Candidates for US Senate

Question Jim Gray (D – Lexington) Rand Paul
(R – Bowling Green) [Incumbent]
How will you ensure more funding for accessible and available transportation in Kentucky? Senior citizens and people with disabilities rely on our public transit system.  I support investment in public transportation, and my experience as Mayor of Lexington has shown me the importance of an effective mass transit system.  Unlike my opponent, who claimed the Americans with Disabilities Act isn’t “fair to the business owner,” [ThinkProgress, 5/17/2010] I believe we have an obligation to help disabled people. That is reflected in my record.

In particular, the Town Branch Commons project includes a redesign of Transit Plaza to make the Lextran station more accessible. The project also includes making Lextran a more sustainable service by adding a fleet of electric buses and charging infrastructure to keep them running. As your Senator I will continue to back investment in sustainable public transit.

 No response returned
 How would you change this allocation process on the state and federal level to ensure that people with disabilities get the best services to meet their needs and avoid unnecessary and more expensive institutional care? Long-term care is a delicate issue that affects millions of Americans, and every case is unique.  I support seniors’ rights to choose which health care solution works for them, and as Mayor I oversaw the construction of the Lexington Senior Center. This 33,000 sq. ft center was designed to help seniors socialize and stay active on their own terms, and it includes access to public transit.

 

I have a proven record of helping senior citizens, and that will continue if I am elected Kentucky’s next Senator.

  No response returned
 How will you increase access to affordable and accessible housing for Kentucky’s disabled and elderly population?  I understand the importance of the challenges faced by low-income Kentuckians, and one of my signature initiatives as Mayor has been the creation of Lexington’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund. This program provides funding, in the form of loans and grants, to create affordable housing for households below 80% of the area’s median income.   No response returned
How would you assist with redirecting funding from institutional to integrated employment opportunities?  Unemployment and underemployment are major problems in the Commonwealth.  All Kentuckians should have access to employment opportunities, including those with disabilities. We need to pursue all available funding sources, and work with communities throughout Kentucky to ensure the funds are properly allocated. I would support continued funding of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act that designates resources through the U.S. Department of Labor to fund job-training and placement programs for people with disabilities. It also provides support to the Kentucky Office of Vocational Rehabilitation to assist Kentuckians with disabilities to achieve suitable employment and independence. As Mayor of Lexington, job creation has been my top priority.  If elected, that priority will not change.   No response returned

Candidates for US Congress District #1

Question Sam Gaskins (D-Hopkinsville) James Comer
(R- Tompkinsville)
How will you ensure more funding for accessible and available transportation in Kentucky?  I will fight to expand funding to states to add public transportation to rural areas. I will also push for medical transportation funding for those that do not have access to public transportation.  No response returned
 How would you change this allocation process on the state and federal level to ensure that people with disabilities get the best services to meet their needs and avoid unnecessary and more expensive institutional care?  The main way to ensure that people with disabilities have the best services and avoid institutional care is to make sure they are able to stay home with loved ones that are willing to care for them. This can be done by extending caregiver funds. This allows someone that has the person’s best interest in mind versus a system that just wants to warehouse them.  No response returned
How will you increase access to affordable and accessible housing for Kentucky’s disabled and elderly population? One way to increase access to affordable and accessible housing is to make Congress repay the trillions of dollars that has been taken from the Social Security Fund and increase the COLA that is given to those that need it and earned it. Also, job training for those that want and can work for employment that is within their abilities.  No response returned
How would you assist with redirecting funding from institutional to integrated employment opportunities?  Employment is something everyone wants because it gives them a purpose they can feel every day. Vocational Rehabilitation is a program that needs to be expanded for this purpose. This would also help fight the stigma that comes with first meeting people with disabilities  No response returned

Candidates for US Congress District #3

Question Harold Bratcher (R-Louisville) John Yarmuth
(D-Louisville) [Incumbent]
How will you ensure more funding for accessible and available transportation in Kentucky?  Transportation: It is important to maintain and optimize accessibility to transportation for Americans with disabilities, which may include increasing or reallocating federal funding where state and local efforts have failed to adequately support the community. While I do not believe it necessary or appropriate to broaden federal mandates on private carriers, and reallocation of funding to incentivize private industry to meet these needs could both benefit the community and focus the solution on the needs where they are felt most.  No response returned
 How would you change this allocation process on the state and federal level to ensure that people with disabilities get the best services to meet their needs and avoid unnecessary and more expensive institutional care?  There are many ‘bad habits’ in our health care system, and realignment is certainly in order. Our systems should be organized to maximize benefit and minimize cost, and community-focused care should absolutely be a key element in that realignment. Costs and benefits are a function of dollars, yes, but also convenience, opportunity, and quality of life. It is critical that we fight crony capitalism and align expenditures to the best benefit of patients and the communities in which they live  No response returned
How will you increase access to affordable and accessible housing for Kentucky’s disabled and elderly population?  I understand the importance of the challenges faced by low-income Kentuckians, and one of my signature initiatives as Mayor has been the creation of Lexington’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund. This program provides funding, in the form of loans and grants, to create affordable housing for households below 80% of the area’s median income.  No response returned
How would you assist with redirecting funding from institutional to integrated employment opportunities?  I think this is a brilliant and necessary approach to increasing meaningful work and better organizing assistance as a developmental pathway to self-sustenance. I am not well-versed in how to achieve this, but I strongly believe that we should aggressively pursue a realignment of federal funding away from institutional employment and toward competitive, integrated employment.  No response returned

Candidates for US Congress District #6

Question Nancy Jo Kemper (D-Lexington) Andy Barr
(R-Lexington) (Incumbent] 
How will you ensure more funding for accessible and available transportation in Kentucky?  I wholeheartedly support increased funding for FTA programs, with a particular emphasis on public transportation opportunities that enhance the mobility of seniors and people with disabilities.  Not only is enhanced mobility an important quality of life concern for many Americans, but it also has health implications for our most vulnerable citizens.  I’ll support expanding the availability of taxis, buses and other transportation services in rural and underserved areas, and will support the expansion and repair of public walkways to bring them into compliance with the ADA.  No response returned
 How would you change this allocation process on the state and federal level to ensure that people with disabilities get the best services to meet their needs and avoid unnecessary and more expensive institutional care? KY Medicaid allocates 81% of its long term care dollars on nursing homes and institutions, and only 19% to community based services. Surveys show that the elderly and people with disabilities overwhelmingly prefer community based services and they are vastly more cost effective.
Rev-Up Kentucky supports making the long-term care system in Kentucky more responsive to the needs and preferences of Kentucky residents.In line with the wishes of most affected Kentuckians, I would push to emphasize community based services within the Medicaid system. Not only are community based services more cost effective than institutional care, but they also offer a greater range of choice and services, including personal care, health and mobility support, housekeeping assistance, therapy, socialization, and respite care. The United States is far behind many of our peer nations in terms of access to community based services for long-term care.
 No response returned
How will you increase access to affordable and accessible housing for Kentucky’s disabled and elderly population?  If elected, I would be happy to support non-provider owned scattered site housing, which provides a great opportunity to integrate supportive housing units into the general community.  This is particularly beneficial to disabled and elderly tenants because it can affordably connect them to community-based resources while building strong social support networks.  No response returned
How would you assist with redirecting funding from institutional to integrated employment opportunities?  It’s vitally important for our disabled community to have reliable access to integrated employment opportunities.  While sheltered workshops have been an invaluable resource for some of my most severely disabled friends, they frankly violate the spirit of the ADA’s integration mandate for many disabled Americans by denying them access to non-disabled peers and by failing to train them for competitive employment.  If elected, I’ll take every opportunity to redirect funds from institutional to integrated employment opportunities.  No response returned
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