2020 Presidential Primary Candidate Survey on Disability
Amy Klobuchar’s Responses
Employment: What are your views on paying a subminimum wage based on disability?
Senator Klobuchar is an original cosponsor of the Raise the Wage Act, which would guarantee that all workers are paid at least the federal minimum wage by phasing out the subminimum wage for workers with disabilities. As President, Senator Klobuchar will make a $15 minimum wage for all workers a priority and put a $15 minimum wage place for all federal contractors during the first 100 days of her presidency.
Assistive Technology: What do you plan to do to increase access to assistive technology for people with disabilities who need it to effectively and independently engage in their communities?
Senator Klobuchar will work to make sure that people with disabilities can access the technologies they need to fully engage in their communities. She was the lead Democrat on the Steve Gleason Act, which was signed into law in 2018 and permanently fixes the Medicare rule that limited access to speech generating devices for patients living with speech and communication disabilities resulting from conditions such as ALS, stroke, cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury, or Rett Syndrome.
Special Education: How would you propose to strengthen the IDEA when it is reauthorized so that it truly fulfills its stated purpose of preparing children with disabilities for post-secondary education, employment, and independent living, including children with the most significant disabilities?
Senator Klobuchar believes that the federal government must meet its commitment to fully fund the IDEA so students with disabilities receive the services they need. Senator Klobuchar has consistently supported fully funding the IDEA, and in March of 2018 she asked for a $275 million increase in IDEA grants to states. As President, she will make sure these grants are fully funded moving forward.
Mental Health Services: What is your vision for a system of services to support people with mental illness?
Senator Klobuchar’s dad struggled with alcoholism and she saw the toll that substance use disorders and mental health can take on families and communities. She was the first presidential candidate to roll out a comprehensive mental health and addiction policy. And as President, Senator Klobuchar will launch new prevention and early intervention mental health initiatives, enforce mental health parity, expand access to health care delivery and treatment beds for people with mental illness, and give Americans a path to sustainable recovery. Her plan will ensure that everyone has the right — and the opportunity — to receive effective, professional treatment and help.
Workforce Shortage: Please explain how you would address this immediate and growing workforce shortage?
Senator Klobuchar is focused on connecting people to the job openings and opportunities we have today and understands that our country needs more direct support professionals. She is a strong supporter of tuition-free one and two year degrees for community college or
technical certifications, as well as apprenticeships that combine on-the-job training with relevant academic instruction. She also supports student loan forgiveness for in-demand occupations and comprehensive immigration reform that will help ensure we have the
workers we need.