Today, the House voted 225-192 to pass H.R. 620, the “ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017”.
Details on who voted how here from C-SPAN.
This legislation, if it becomes law, will undermine the enforcement of the Americans for Disabilities Act, and make our communities much less accessible to people with disabilities and others.
Among other things, it bars lawsuits against businesses that violate the ADA from starting immediately.
As an article in Newsweek says:
“The bill would require those filing suit in federal court against businesses for not complying with the ADA to first give that business 60 days to devise a plan to fix the problem. They then have another 120 days to implement the changes”
The ACLU says:
“This scheme removes the business’s incentive to proactively ensure that it is accessible to people with disabilities” ….”Instead, businesses will simply wait until someone’s right to access is violated and notification is received before making the change they were already obligated to make.”
In other words, instead of needing to comply with laws about accessibility, instead a company can wait until a lawsuit against them is brought, and then they’ll have six months to implement a fix. So much for whoever is denied accessibility in that whole time.
If you know your Congressperson’s name, you can search for their D.C. phone # here.
If you need their name, call the Congressional Switchboard, (202) 224-3121, and follow the steps.
Again to see who voted for/against: check here.
Tom Emmer: 6th District: co-sponsored the bill.
District office: |Phone: (763) 241-6848 (just called and spoke with Alejandra. She was very respectful and helpful)
DC Office: Phone: (202) 225-2331 (if they’re not in the office, leave a message!)
Jason Lewis, 2nd District: cosponsored the bill
DC Office: (202) 225-2271
District Office: (651) 8462120
Collin Peterson: 7th District (Democrat)
DC Office: (202) 225-2165
Willmar District Office: (320) 235-1061
Erik Paulsen: 3rd District
DC Office: (202) 225-2871
Eden Prairie Office: (952) 405-8510
Hi, my name is _____ and I’m a constituent of the Congresswom/an [I’m a ”city-name Resident] [”live here in state-name”] I’m calling with a comment [for the congressperson]. Can you help me by taking it down? Thank You!
I’m very frustrated to read that the Congressman/woman voted for HR 620. Disability advocates say this bill, if it becomes law, will make it much easier for businesses to violate our laws, and much harder for folks with disabilities to have equal access in our communities.
Please let the congressman/woman know I’m going to remember this vote during campaign and election season. Thank you!