The ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017 (HR 620), sponsored by Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX), passed in the US House of Representative yesterday, Thursday, February 15, 2018. Votes: 225 Yea, 192 Nay. The bill was passed by 213 Republicans and 12 Democrats. Collin Peterson D-MN, voted Yea, Kevin Cramer R-ND, voted Yea.
HR 620 changes the Americans with Disabilities Act requiring a person with a disability to provide written notice to a business owner who has violated the ADA (even though the ADA was passes 28 years ago). The business owner would then have 60 days to even acknowledge that there is a problem and another 120 days to make progress toward correcting the violation. In other words, people with disabilities will have to wait 180 days to enforce their civil rights.
By voting YEA, Peterson and Cramer have said that it is ok to discriminate against people with disabilities by not making public accommodations accessible. By voting for HR 620 Peterson and Cramer are making their statements that it’s okay for business to break the law – 28 years after the ADA was passed – and they are say that businesses are more important to our Representatives than their disabled constituents.
H.R. 620 is a cruel and misguided bill that would weaken the protections afforded us under the Americans with Disabilities Act and create additional obstacles to seeing our rights enforced. Moreover, it would not stop fraudulent lawsuits or solve the problem the bill’s supporters are claiming to address. Nearly 28 years after the passage of the ADA, the passage of H.R. 620 is a disgraceful confirmation of these Representatives’ skewed priorities.
The fight is not over – now we need to focus our attention on the US Senate. The first step is to urge the Senate not to take up this bill.
John Hoven (R-ND) – 202-224-2551
Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) – 202-224-2043
Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) – 202-224-3244
Tina Smith (D-MN) – 202-224-5641[image description: Red white and blue words spelling out Disability Rights Are Civil Rights, on a black background]