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Iowa State House

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Petitioning President of the United States

Remove the penalty that prevents people with disabilities from marrying!

When we think of marriage equality, we think about the ongoing fight LGBT couples face, but another minority group must deal with the stark reality that they are better off living in long-term committed relationships, without marriage. Like LGBT couples, these couples are denied the right to over 1,100 rights afforded to married couples. They have been denied access into their loved ones hospital rooms, faced family disputes over wills and have been denied spousal benefits from their partners workplace or the government in the event of their partners death. These are people with disabilities. Many people rely on the government for medical and financial assistance. Without medical insurance they would have no way to live independently. They would be forced into nursing homes (some already are), which would cost the government significantly more than getting Medicare and/or Medicaid does. At the same time, this assistance comes with a price. The government expects married couples to share income and that affects any assistance the couple receives. For many, their spouse makes too much (even if they make meager SSDI payments). This cuts into the healthcare services these couples receive. For some, their able-bodied partners make too much to allow them to qualify for medical assistance, if married, but not enough to pay out of pocket for costly medical equipment, medicine, or any other needs the disabled partner has. Add in the fact that even when a person with a disability can work, the opportunity for quality medical insurance is hard to find, due to their pre-existing condition and you will understand why many couples with disabilities are forced to live in domestic partnerships. Also, if two people with disabilities marry and they are on SSI or SSDI, their payments are CUT significantly, making it hard for them to maintain independence and afford their own food, shelter, clothing or other necessities. The time to stand up is now!! Let your Senators and Representatives know you want to remove the income caps placed on individuals with disabilities, so they can keep the government assistance and still be able to get married. Every loving couple deserves the right to marry. No one should have to choose between their wheelchair and their love, their therapy and their love, their medication and their love, their ability to eat or have a roof over their head and their love!! Those are not choices!! Help make it possible for those with disabilities to share their love without being penalized!Join our fight for marriage equality for people with disabilities:

Dominick Evans
6,850 supporters
Petitioning Iowa State House, Mayor Lou Schafer

Dog chained for 3 YEARS in backyard begins another winter outside!! RESCUE BELLA NOW!!!

This helpless dog has been chained in the backyard of a property in the town of New Providence, Iowa, for the last three years.  Doesn’t matter if it’s summer and the weather is scorching hot or it’s winter and it’s blistering cold. BELLA spends every day in the same manner; all chained up, in solitary confinement. In spite of numerous protests, nothing has changed. Last year, concerned residents built a doghouse for BELLA but they had the door slammed in their faces. Now, after another set of massive complaints, the Sheriff finally turned up at their doorstep to check on the dog. She's tied up outside. There are people who don’t think this is acceptable. It’s a situation open up for debate’ Sheriff Dave McDaniel stated. McDaniel admitted that the dog had food and water but claimed that the type of shelter was ‘questionable’. The Sheriff finally pursued the owners to accept a dog house built by members of the community. BELLA’s condition is still dire. Spending her days on a heavy chain, not being able to move and her only companions are a patch of dirt, rain, sun, snow and the bitter cold!!  Dogs are NOT solitary, this is NOT what having a pet is about.   BELLA needs love NOT isolation!!! To me, pets are family and should definitely stay inside. All in all, BELLA needs to be rescued from the property.  She has suffered in frozen silence far too long; now we have to be her voice!!  She deserves a better home and owners who understand what having a pet really means. The blistering cold of Iowa is just days away.  Do NOT remain indifferent and help rescue BELLA!!  The HEART Hardin Eldora Animal Rescue Team has already announced they are prepared to bring BELLA in anytime. PLEASE SHARE VIRALLY FOR BELLA, thank you.

Victoria Canduro
5,151 supporters
Petitioning Alabama State House, Alaska State House, Arizona State House, Arkansas State House, California State House, Colorado State House, Hawaii State House, Idaho State House, Illinois State House, Indian...

Save Lives: Require Spinal Muscular Atrophy Newborn Screening

August is Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Awareness Month. Please join our efforts to require SMA newborn screening, and help end the deadly effects of SMA.  About SMA: •  SMA is the number one genetic killer of babies and children under the age of two.•  SMA is a motor neuron disease like ALS.•  SMA robs the ability to move, swallow, and eventually breathe. •  One in 40 unknowingly carries the gene responsible for SMA.•  When two carriers have a baby, there is a 25% chance the baby will have SMA, a 50% chance the baby will be a carrier, and a 25% chance the baby will be unaffected.•  One in 10,000 babies is born with SMA.  The FDA approved Spinraza as the first treatment for SMA on December 23, 2016. However, newborns continue to go untreated when they would receive the most benefit, as no states are performing SMA newborn screening. Newly diagnosed Type 1 SMA babies treated with Spinraza didn't lose their ability to move, swallow, and breathe, but instead gained strength. Some even crawled and took steps — steps away from the deadly effects of SMA. Newborn babies treated within the first two weeks never lost abilities to SMA, and developed as average babies do. They crawl, eat, stand, and walk. Only newborns with older SMA siblings have been treated this way, as their parents knew to screen for SMA. Every newborn needs to be screened for SMA, so babies born with SMA can develop just as babies without SMA do.  For this to happen, SMA needs to be added to the Recommended Uniform Screening Panel (RUSP), states need to require SMA newborn screening, and funding needs to be provided for SMA newborn screening. The Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children (Committee) is scheduled to vote to add SMA to the RUSP at its February, 2018 meeting. Once the Committee votes favorably to add SMA to the RUSP, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will add SMA to the RUSP. This is an important step, as many states look to the RUSP when adding new conditions to screen for. This petition will be delivered to both the Committee, and the Secretary of HHS. States also need to require newborn screening, as the RUSP is only a recommendation, it does not mandate states to test for conditions. We will continue to pursue SMA newborn screening in every state, and this petition will help our efforts. Missouri is the only state to enact newborn screening legislation, and will begin screening for SMA in January of 2019. Federal and state funds are also needed to begin and continue SMA newborn screening. This petition will help us as we advocate for funding with the appropriate federal and state congressional members. Act Now: With an FDA-approved treatment, it is urgent we secure SMA newborn screening. Newborn babies treated within the first two weeks will have the best chance at progressing as they would without SMA. Every baby born with SMA should be afforded this life-saving treatment. Please sign our petition urging Committee to vote to add SMA to the RUSP, urging states to require SMA newborn screening, and urging federal and state congressional members to provide funding for SMA newborn screening.   

Hunter Has Hope
2,105 supporters
Petitioning Iowa Governor

Get rid of the waitlist for the Children's Mental Health Waiver

1,615 Iowa Children and their families are waiting for services they need to be safe and well. How will you answer them? 1,615 Iowa children currently need immediate access to the Children's Mental Health Waiver. The waiver provides a comprehensive support system that allows children to remain in their home as opposed to more costly institutions that are often far away from their communities. Without this waiver, most families cannot afford the many needed evidence-based therapies that are not covered by insurance, they cannot afford needed respite, or locate basic services such as childcare that will work with children with severe mental illness.  Consider what two years means in the development of a child. Waiting not only makes the child's prognosis suffer, the mental health and physical safety of the family members is often in jeopardy, parents lose time at work and often employment trying to manage crises on their own.  Eliminating the waitlist is not only the right and decent thing to do, it is the medically preferable thing to do AND the financially prudent thing to do. The CMH waiver cannot exceed $1967 / month while institutional placement costs the state $5000 / month. Further, timely treatment and support services reduce the chance of the children ending up in the very expensive justice system and help them live up to their full potential as contributing members of society. Please do the right thing: make the CMH waiver immediately avaible to children in need. Please follow our advocacy efforts on our Facebook Page: Or join our Parents Creating Change in Iowa group on Facebook or F.I.N.D:

Parents Creating Change in Iowa
1,793 supporters
Petitioning President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, Texas Governor, Iowa Governor, Pennsylvania State House, Missouri Governor, Tennessee Governor, Nebraska State Senate, Texas State House, Mississipp...

Stop euthanizing healthy adoptable animals in shelters. Make all shelters NO KILL shelters

STOP... the cruel act of euthanizing innocent animals in shelters. Make ALL shelters NO KILL shelters. To only euthanize the severally sick, terminally ill, dangerous threat to society.  I'm proposing for a creation of a new law a bill STOPPING EUTHANASIA on all Healthy Adoptable Animals in Shelters across the States. They are euthanizing them daily! Yes Pit Bulls are ALWAYS the first breed to be killed in Shelters, this needs to stop once and for all. We need to get ALL these Shelters to become a "NO KILL SHELTERS" as I stated...unless the animals are suffering and or terminally ill. However sadly they have been primary focusing on killing the breed Pit Bulls, because of their breed when you ask about adoptions they are misplaced or have already been murdered, this is of ALL Breeds too. Many Shelters are killing them after just 24 to 48 hours after intake. A civilized society does not accept or endorse these " Mass Killings" that is presently taking place across our nation, it's become an epidemic. Shelters must begin to work with volunteers in an effort to reduce the euthanizing of animals.They need to give us all more time to help finding homes then 24 hours, when they are placed on the infamous "kill list". This needs to be shared and signed so we can reach others with the same goals for these loving animals that cannot fight for themselves as they lay sad confused and lonely on that cold dreadful floor in that shelter cage, you know they don't understand why their owner just turned their backs on them and walked away and left them there, I'm sure they waited all day for them to come back and get them to take them home, such a cowardly act these pathetic people are who can do this and sleep at night with a clear conscious, how could they just leave them behind without going back having doubts. They lack empathy and real love that's how these horrible owners just walk away while their Dog or Cat gets dragged away in a black plastic garbage bag, how do I know? I saw the dreadful inconceivable pictures on Twitter, Facebook even on the news, it was so frightening, cold blooded cruelty at its worst like a fictional horror movie, I literally had to look several times to confirm what the heck I just saw, 7 that's right "seven" black garbage bags all full of dead animals in front of each cage with the door open like they were trash being taken out to the garbage bin the cold plastic bags are the last thing these precious babies get to have their bodies wrapped in?! Even freezing them alive. Those pictures haunt me, but who am I to wish I never saw the pictures when they are the ones who had to endure the painful end. I won't turn a blind eye to their sacrifices that mankind imposed onto them. Nor will most of society. These animals know one thing that's a given and that's true unconditional love anything different was taught by a bad owner, unconditional love no matter how badly they are treated.  They are more loving then any human. They are truly loving compassionate companions. I understand there are attacks where Dogs bite a human, however there are way more human on human violence than there is Dog on human violence, this applies to any breed. But we all know which one makes the 6 o'clock news don't we now. We the People want them held accountable for euthanizing of healthy animals and a stop to it once and for all. The majority are killed over space and put on a "kill list" each day and night before social media activist even have time to find help! I tried to find the up to date stats but The National euthanasia statistics are difficult to pinpoint because animal care and control agencies are not required to keep statistics on the number of animals euthanized. Why many shelters do not have to keep up the value of statistics bothers me, that's giving them free reign to euthanize more and more without trying to find them homes and or be held accountable for many Dogs killed in error, it's the easiest answer to them sad but true! With no national reporting structure existing to make compiling national statistics on these figures possible we need to ensure a bill is passed where they have to abide. Unfortunately, the most recent statistics published by the National Council online are from 1997, and only 1,000 shelters replied to the survey at that time. Using the National Council's numbers from 1997 and estimating the number of operating shelters in the United States to be 3,500 (the exact number of animal shelters operating in the United States does not exist), these estimates were made: It stated of the 1,000 shelters that replied to the National Council's survey, 4.3 million animals were handled.In 1997, roughly 64 percent of the total number of animals that entered shelters were euthanized -- approximately 2.7 million animals in just these 1,000 shelters. These animals may have been euthanized due to overcrowding and a most recent cause they use to kill is "kennel cough" when that is so treatable.56 percent of dogs and 71 percent of cats that enter animal shelters are euthanized. More cats are euthanized than dogs because they are more likely to enter a shelter without any owner identification.Only 15.8 percent of dogs and 2 percent of cats that enter animal shelters are reunited with their owners.25 percent of dogs and 24 percent of cats that enter animal shelters are adopted.It is estimated that approximately 3.7 million animals were euthanized in the nation’s shelters in 2008. It iscevident that these  numbers change yearly and to date are extremely elevated. We need to STOP this friends. YOU ARE THEIR VOICE! LET'S MAKE THEM HEARD! This will not change until animal advocates voice their feelings to their legislators and let them know they will be held accountable in the voting booth." After all; we are their constituents! They cannot fight for themselves, we have to be their voice. Take a stance with me today to stop the slaughtering of healthy Dogs and Cats of all Breeds.This is NOT euthanasia, it's murder.Healthy , scared, abandoned (by humans) animals whose lives are taken every second of every day Please sign and share and let's help all these poor animals have a second chance . Save them by signing and sharing please Thank you  Renee' Rugg WE ARE THEIR VOICE SO SPEAK UP AND LET THEM BE HEARD 

Renee Rugg
1,420 supporters
Petitioning Iowa State House, Joni Ernst, Iowa Governor, Iowa DCI, Polk County Attorney Iowa, Iowa Department of Justice

Further investigation needed in this case and as to why the mother wasn’t charged.

In November of 2014 my son Joe Lopez was staying with his girlfriend in her basement apartment. In the early morning hours of the 29th he woke up to his girlfriend daughter crying. He got up to see what was wrong and if he could help her. He took her to the kitchen and placed her in her highchair without buckling her in. He fed her then left her alone to go to the bathroom. While in the bathroom he hears a thump/smack then runs out to find the child on the floor unconscious, gasping for air. He goes to the next room to awaken the mother and let her know something is wrong and they must go to the emergency. At the emergency he runs in with injured child while mother parks her car. The child never recovers from her injuries and sadly she dies December 3rd! Doctors and investigators ALLEGED that he attacked the child. That he shook and slammed her all while the mother was “sleeping” in the next room! It was proven during trial that the mother was not sleeping and awake using her cell phone. If said attack did take place she would’ve heard something! Being that the mother was there, in the home, in the next room that’s only about 4 steps away, she should be charged! They used the fact that he was the last one (alone) with the child when in all reality he wasn’t because she was there. They used the fact that he didn’t call 911, well neither did the mother! They used the fact that he was the one to take the child into emergency room because he wanted his story to be told first all while mother was more worried about parking her car! What mother worries more about parking her car than her injured child?! They used the fact that he was stressed from having no job or a place to live well neither did she. Yes he didn’t have a job but did have a place to stay! She was unemployed and being evicted from her apartment and had nowhere to go. Not even to her family! Lopez was charged with first degree murder and child endangerment resulting in death. All the stressors used to charge and convict Lopez can also be used to charge the mother.  Since this case there have been a few more cases like this here in Iowa. In those cases both caretakers were arrested and charged. What makes this case any different? 

Marissa Cisneros
1,331 supporters