SANTA FE, NM -- Governor Bill Richardson released the following statement today, celebrating the seventeenth anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act and urging Congress to pass the bipartisan ADA Restoration Act of 2007:
"I am proud to have supported Americans with disabilities throughout my career in public service, and I am pleased to be able to celebrate the seventeenth year of the Americans with Disabilities Act. For me, this has always been a matter of guaranteeing every American their civil rights.
"As Governor, I have directed state agencies to make it a priority to hire qualified disabled individuals. New Mexico ranks in the top three states in the country in terms of Medicaid expenditures that allow the disabled to receive care in their homes and communities, instead of in institutions. New Mexico also increased funding for housing and children's services. And I have worked to ensure the voting rights of those in the disabled community, by having each of our 1,200 polling sites inspected for ADA compliance.
"As President, I will continue to create opportunities for creative and flexible Medicaid Programs that cover individuals with disabilities, and make sure they receive quality health care.
"For too long, the Supreme Court has been undoing the progress made by the landmark 1990 bill; and, in light of the Court's recent spate of reactionary decisions, it is imperative that Congress act now. I urge the Congress to stand up for the civil rights of all Americans by passing the bipartisan ADA Restoration Act of 2007."