Jennifer is a staunch advocate for people with disabilities. She believes that America has major strides to make to become more inclusive for people with disabilities and that Congress has a duty to move forward in this mission.
In the State Senate, Jennifer passed legislation that closed a loophole and extended parental support for severely disabled and special-needs children over age eighteen, giving relief to single parents. She also created a law that stemmed the school-to-prison pipeline, which disproportionately impacts children with disabilities, by implementing alternatives to suspension. She fought for increased funding for Intellectual Disabilities (ID)/Developmental Disability (DD) Waiver slots to shrink waiting lists, the implementation of a more inclusive environment for students with disabilities, expanded state and local employment opportunities for those with disabilities, a focus on patient-centered, community-based centers and housing options, and Medicaid expansion to cover our most vulnerable Virginians.
In Congress, Jennifer has been a strong defender of the the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Social Security Disability Insurance Program. She is dedicated to expanding educational and employment opportunities for people with disabilities and protecting funding for Medicaid and other affordable healthcare programs.
In 2019, Jennifer introduced the Personal Needs Allowance (PNA) Modernization Act to support our seniors and disabled Americans. This legislation would double the federal floor of the PNA and align its value with today’s economic realities.
She has made protecting children and students with disabilities needs a top priority in Congress. She successfully amended the Strengthening Health Care and Lowering Prescription Drug Costs Act, calling attention to the negative impact short-term and junk plans have on children with complex medical needs. She’s been fighting for access to education by supporting the IDEA Full Funding Act, which would gradually increase IDEA spending to cover 40 percent of the average per pupil cost of special education.
Jennifer has also fought to keep disability rights at the forefront of major budget conversations and decisions. In response to Trump’s fiscal year 2021 budget, she was a vocal opponent of nearly $1 trillion cut from Medicaid and ACA subsidies which would jeopardize health care for millions of Americans. Jennifer will not stand to see funds vital for protecting disability rights lost in the federal budget.