Thursday, April 28, 2011

Colorado bill to help fund a disability benefits support program, named after activist/writer Laura Hershey, signed into law

From The Greeley, Colo., Tribune:

A bill sponsored by Rep. Jim Riesberg, D-Greeley, that would help fund a disability benefits support program has been signed into law by Gov. John Hickenlooper.

“Too many people are led to believe that once they are declared disabled, they no longer have options,” Riesberg said in a news release April 27. “With this bill, we’ve found an innovative way to help fund the effort to reach out and empower disabled Coloradans to apply for the benefits they’re entitled to.”

The measure, House Bill 1216, will allow the state to auction personalized license plates that have been retired. Money raised from the sale of these plates will fund the creation of the Laura Hershey Memorial Disability Benefits Support Program. This program will provide education, direct assistance and advocacy to enroll those who are eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance, Supplemental Security Income and Long Term Medicaid, according to the release.

The program is named after Laura Hershey (pictured), a lifelong Colorado resident and disability-rights activist, who helped organize the effort that led to the bill, passed away last year.

The bill was sponsored by Sen. Irene Aguilar, D-Denver, in the Senate and cosponsored by Rep. Cheri Gerou, R-Evergreen, in the House.