Cutler and Miller Work to Provide Competitive Work Opportunities for People with Disabilities
11/20/2017
HARRISBURG – Today, the House Labor and Industry Committee unanimously approved the Employment First Act sponsored by Reps. Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster) and Dan Miller (D-Allegheny). The bipartisan legislation would prioritize community inclusion and offer the opportunity for individuals with disabilities to work in a wide range of jobs.

“Pennsylvania’s workforce shortage is yet another reason why this bill would be beneficial. As only about 20 percent of people with disabilities are working, greater participation by this group would help to fill necessary positions,” Cutler said.

The bill calls for state agencies to employ individuals with disabilities in at least 7 percent of the overall state workforce. It, however, does not require state agencies to give preference in hiring to people with disabilities.

An oversight commission, with people who have disabilities making up more than half of members, would set measurable goals for improving the percentage of workers with disabilities in Pennsylvania. It would also issue an annual progress report.

“Rep. Miller worked with me on this important legislation in previous legislative sessions, and I thank him for partnering with me again in a call for competitive wages for people with disabilities, rather than paying them well below minimum wage in segregated facilities as is currently the case,” Cutler added.

The bill will not require additional state funding. Instead, Commonwealth agencies would be required to shift priorities within existing budgets.

It now advances to the full House for consideration.

Representative Bryan Cutler
100th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Alison Evans
717.260.6206
aevans@pahousegop.com
RepCutler.com / Facebook.com/RepBryanCutler / Twitter.com/RepBryanCutler

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