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Runoff for the Louisiana Public Service Commission could impact energy policies; NM's LGBTQ advocates await final passage of "Respect for Marriage Act" - Democracy gets a voter-approved overhaul in Oregon.

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The Senate passes a bill forcing a labor agreement in an effort to avoid a costly railway worker strike. The House Ways and Means Committee has former President Trump's tax returns in hand. The Agriculture Committee is looking at possible regulations for cryptocurrency following the collapse of cryptocurrency giant FTX. The Supreme Court will be reviewing the legality of Biden s student debt relief program next year. Anti-semitic comments from Ye spark the deletion of tweets from the the House Judiciary Committee GOP's Twitter account.

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The first-ever "trout-safe" certification goes to an Idaho fish farm, the Healthy Housing Initiative helps improve rural communities' livability, and if Oklahoma is calling to you, a new database makes it easier for buyers and builders to find available lots.

Disability Measures Aim to Expand Access to Higher-Education, Reduce Poverty

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Monday, April 18, 2022   

Two bills making their way through the Colorado General Assembly would make it easier for people with disabilities to access college and other public institutions of higher learning.

House Bill 1107 would fund proven strategies for making college more universally accessible. Christiano Sosa, executive director of Arc of Colorado, said people with intellectual and developmental disabilities should be able to have the same experiences in college as everyone else.

"Participate in the rights of passage that many folks are afforded through the college experience," said Sosa, "living in the dorms, living on campus - and having the supports needed to do that effectively."

HB 1255 would create an advisory committee to outline ways to improve outcomes for students with disabilities attending state institutions. The measure cleared both chambers and awaits a signature by Gov. Jared Polis.

HB 1107 is still under consideration by the Appropriations Committee.

Sosa said the two measures combined would give Coloradans with disabilities real opportunities to escape poverty. It's estimated that 85% of individuals with intellectual disabilities are not working, or are under-employed, despite their willingness and ability to contribute to the workforce.

"And higher-ed historically has been that stepping stone to get the good jobs, so that folks do not need to live in poverty," said Sosa. "And that's why we're excited about this bill."

Sosa said when students with disabilities can access college, they go on to earn degrees and certificates in health care, advocacy, brewing studies and more.

Sosa said creating a more inclusive campus experience can also help more people reconsider the contributions the disability community is capable of making.

"And the more people we have in institutions of higher education," said Sosa, "I think we begin to break down some of these stigmas, and some of these stereotypes."




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