On June 22, 1999, the United States Supreme Court held in Olmstead v. L.C. that states must have a plan to ensure the people with disabilities were afforded the choice to access the most community-based option possible. Over the last 20 years this has become one of the largest factors to ensure that people with disabilities in many states received the supports that they needed to live. These plans arereferred to Olmstead Plans and are basically a comprehensive strategic plan to insure that all necessary supports are available to promote success in the community for persons with disabilities. The planning process starts with an assessment of the status quo and sets forward goals and methods to ensure that state programs work to continuously improve the access to supports needed by affected individuals. These plans look at all aspects of community life, including accessible transportation, housing, education, employment, etc. Benchmarks and timelines are required in Olmstead Plans to ensure progress in the plan’s implementation.Over these past 20 years Nebraska has yet to develop and Olmstead Plan. .Based on the experience of other states, this lack of a Plan occasions the risk a costly and time-consuming lawsuits. As of December 15, 2018 the State is now out of compliance with Nebraska Revised Statute 81-6,122 which requires the development of a Nebraska Olmstead Plan. This is truly unfortunate as the state has certainly had adequate time, the Legislature has considered this a priority to the extent it has written this into state law, and disability stakeholders have been engaged. In addition, the Developmental Disabilities Planning Council has provided most of the funding ($127,000 or so) to hire a consulting firm to assist in writing a Plan. However, the Administration has yet to have taken the necessary steps to ensure that all of the necessary state leadership become fully engaged with this process.
We the undersigned do hereby call on the Governor of Nebraska Pete Ricketts to address the requirements of Nebraska Revised Statute 81-6,122 by ensuring that an Olmstead Plan is completed and adhered to. Governor Ricketts has often spoken previously of his goals regarding support people with disabilities. Completing a Nebraska Olmstead Plan is currently one of the best ways in which the Governor could demonstrate his support and we urge him to take immediate action on this matter.