Disability Employment: 2018 Legislative Recap

3/4/2019

Work Matters Policy Framework: Reviewing 2018 Legislative Actions

Lawmakers enacting legislation affecting employment opportunities for people with disabilities had a busy year in 2018. 

Two women in the workplace reviewing a document.This was the second legislative session following the release of “Work Matters: A Framework for States on Workforce Development for People with Disabilities.” In partnership with the Council of State Governments (CSG), NCSL published Work Matters in December 2016 after a bipartisan national task force of state legislators, governors, state regulators, and private industry officials worked to determine legislative options to advance employment for people with disabilities.

Work Matters was part of the State Exchange on Employment and Disability (SEED), an ongoing initiative by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP). SEED works to foster employment opportunities for people with disabilites by assisting states seeking to promote inclusive workforce development.The report details dozens of state policy options under the following frameworks:  

  • Laying the groundwork.
  • Preparing for work. 
  • Getting to and accessing work opportunities.
  • Staying at work. 
  • Supporting self-employment and entrepreneurship. 

As a partner organization in SEED, NCSL analyzed 144 enacted bills from the 2018 legislative sessions related to disability employment seeking to identify those bills that align with the Work Matters policy framework. We identified 44 bills from 25 states that directly relate to policy options identified in the Work Matter framework. Those bills are summarized below:

Laying the Groundwork

This policy area includes legislation that establishes a broad policy environment that embraces inclusiveness and supports disability employment. Key policies identified in the Work Matters framework include: 

  • The state serving as a model employer, 
  • State incentives for the business sector that promote hiring of people with disabilities.
  • Training programs that raise awareness about disability etiquette and inclusiveness.
  • Optimizing resources through interagency collaboration.

STATE

BILL NUMBER

BILL SPONSOR

BILL TITLE

WORK MATTERS POLICY

Alaska

SB 174

Micchiche (R) Programs for Persons With Disabilities State as Model Employer, Interagency Collaboration
California AB 3002 Grayson (D) Disability Access Requirements: Information Interagency Collaboration
Colorado SB 145 Kefalas (D) Implement Employment First Recommendations Interagency Collaboration
Connecticut SB 463 Public Health Cmt Task Force to Evaluate Alternative Service Models for Persons with Intellectual Disability Interagency Collaboration
Delaware HB 370 Heffernan (D) An Act to Amend Title 19 of the Delaware Code Relationing to Employment Practices Interagency Collaboration
Georgia HB 831 Rogers (R) Georgia's Employment First Act State as Model Employer, Interagency Collaboration
Idaho SB 1296 Health and Welfare Cmt An Act Relating to Persons with Disabilities Raising Awareness
Illinois SB 3222 Murphy (D) Workforce Innovation Board Interagency Collaboration
Illinois HB 3185 Ammons (D) Education-Tech State as Model Employer
Iowa SB 2417 Ways & Means Cmt An Act Relating to State, Local Revenue, and Finance Private Sector Incentives
Massachusetts HB 4732 Sanchez (D) An Act Relative to Economic Development in the Commonwealth State as Model Employer

New

Jersey

SB 104 Weinberg (D) Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act Raising Awareness

North

Carolina

SB 768 Barringer (R) People First Language 2018 Raising Awareness
Ohio SB 144 Burke (R) Establish Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilties Council Interagency Collaboration
Pennsylvania HB 1641 Cutler (R) An Act Relating to Competitive Integrated Employment in State and Country Agencies State as Model Employer, Interagency Collaboration
Rhode Island HB 7200 Abney (D) An Act Relating to State Appropriations Interagency Collaboration
South Carolina HB 4093 Collins (R) Employment First Initiative Study Committee Interagency Collaboration
Tennessee SB 1777 Crowe (R) An Act to Amend Tennessee Code Annotated Relative to the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disabilities Interagency Collaboration
Washington SB 5746 Kuderer (D) An Act Relating to The Association of Washington Generals State as Model Employer, Interagency Collaboration
Washington SB 6032 Rolfes (D) Making Supplemental Operating Appropriations Interagency Collaboration
Wisconsin AB 625 Edming (R) An Act Relating to Competitive Integrated Employment of Persons with a Disability State as Model Employer, Interagency Collaboration
 

Preparing for Work

This policy area includes legislation that strengthens programs designed to prepare students and adults with disabilities with the necessary skills to successfully enter the workforce. Key policies identified in the Work Matters framework include:

  • Education policies that prepare all youth—including those with disabilities—for college and a career.
  • Supporting work-based learning programs inclusive of people with disabilities.
  • Promoting meaningful family engagement throughout the education and career development process.
STATE BILL NUMBER BILL SPONSOR BILL TITLE WORK MATTERS POLICY
California AB 2915 Caballero (D) An Act to Amend the Unemployment Insurance Code Relating to Workforce Development Career Readiness
Colorado SB 231 Lambert (R) Transition to Community-based Services Task Force Career Readiness
Colorado HB 1331 Young (D) Higher Education Open Educational Resources Career Readiness
Delaware HB 326 Williams (D) An Act to Amend the Delaware Code Relating to the Delaware Advance Scholarship Program Career Readiness
Illinois SB 1453 McCann (R) Personnel-supported Employees Career Readiness

 

Getting to and Accessing Work Opportunities

This policy area includes legislation that improves access to transportation services and promotes accessibility within the workplace. Key policies identified in the Work Matters framework include:

  • Widely available and accessible transportation options for people with disabilities.
  • Accessible information and communication technologies in the workplace.
STATE BILL NUMBER BILLSPONSOR BILL TITLE WORK MATTERS POLICY
Alabama SB 85 Smitherman (D) An Act Relating to the Alabama Public Transportation Trust Fund Accessible Transportation
California SB 1376 Hill (D) Transportation Network Companies: Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities Accessible Transportation
Connecticut HB 5245 Aging Cmt An Act Establishing a Task Force to Study Best Practices for Providing Transportation for Persons with Disabilities, Senior Citizens, and Veterans Accessible Transportation

District of 

Columbia

B 922 Mendelson (D) Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2018; Relates to Autonomous Vehicles Accessible Transportation
Missouri HB 2004 Fitzpatrick (R) An Act Relating to Appropriations for the Departments of Revenue and Transportation Accessible Transportation

New

York

AB 9506   State Budget, Creates Access to Home for Heroes Program Accessible Housing
Vermont HB 10 O'Sullivan (D) An Act Relating to Transportation Network Companies Accessible Transportation
Washington SB 6199 Cleveland (D) An Act Relating to the Individual Provider Employment Administrator Program Accessible Housing
Washington SB 6106 Hobbs (D) An Act Relating to Supplemental Transportation Appropriations for 2017-2019 Accessible Transportation

 

Staying at Work

This policy area includes legislation that supports workers experiencing a medical condition that challenges their ability to work. These policies are intended to help those workers stay on the job or re-enter the workforce following a leave of absence. Key policies identified in the Work Matters framework include:

  • Supporting employee retention in the event of injury, illness or a change in status of an individual’s disability.
  • Tax deductions for contributions to Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) accounts.
STATE BILL NUMBER BILL SPONSOR BILL TITLE WORK MATTERS POLICY
Colorado HB 1407 Young (D) Access to Disability Services and Stable Workforce Stay-at-Work/Return-to-Work
Iowa SF 2417 Ways & Means Cmt An Act Relating to State, Local Revenue, and Finance by Modifying Taxes ABLE Accounts
Kentucky HB 306 Rowland (R) An Act Relating to STABLE Kentucky Accounts ABLE Accounts
Virginia HB 916 Landes (R) Long-Term Employment Support and Extended Employment Services Stay-at-Work/Return-to-Work
Vermont HB 894 Government Operations Cmt An Act Relating to Pensions, Retirement, and Setting the Contribution Rates for Municipal Employees Stay-at-Work/Return-to-Work

 

Supporting Self-employment and Entrepreneurship

This policy area includes legislation that increases access and opportunity for new and existing business owners with disabilities through entrepreneurship training and business incentives and supports. Key policies identified in the Work Matters framework include:

  • State support for professional development opportunities for people with disabilities.
  • State procurement and contract preferences for disability-owned business. ‚Äč
STATE BILL NUMBER BILL SPONSOR BILL TITLE WORK MATTERS POLICY
Illinois HB 5214 Sente (D) An Act Relating to the Illinois Income Tax Act Disability-owned Businesses
Illinois SB 3106 Hutchinson (D) An Act Relating to the State Comptroller Act Disability-owned Businesses
Louisiana HB 754 Foil (R) An Act Relating to Certain Veteran-owned Small Entrepreneurships Disability-owned Businesses
Virginia SB 386 DeSteph (R) An Act Relating to the Virginia Public Procurement Act Disability-owned Businesses