2007 - 2008 LEGISLATURE
March 11, 2008 - Introduced by Senators Plale and Darling, cosponsored by
Representatives Zepnick and Sinicki. Referred to Committee on Senate
SJR105,1,1 1Relating to: expressing support for the Milwaukee Center for Independence.
SJR105,1,42 Whereas, the Milwaukee Center for Independence (MCFI) is a nonprofit
3community-based organization responding to the increasing and changing needs of
4special needs populations since 1938; and
SJR105,1,65 Whereas, MCFI's mission is to assist families with special needs to better live
6and work in the community; and
SJR105,1,97 Whereas, MCFI's vision is to be the preferred expert rehabilitation resource for
8the community in assessment, treatment, and planning to serve individuals and
9families with special needs across their life spans; and
SJR105,1,1110 Whereas, approximately one-half million children under 18 years of age live in
11the seven-county region of southeastern Wisconsin; and
SJR105,1,1212 Whereas, more than 28,000 children are born in this region each year; and
SJR105,1,1413 Whereas, it is estimated that on average more than 2,700 of these 28,000
14children will develop a lifetime disability; and
1Whereas, the special needs population is defined as those who have "a chronic
2physical, developmental, behavioral, or emotional condition and who also require
3health related services of a type or amount beyond that required by children
4generally"; and
SJR105,2,75 Whereas, according to the National Survey of Children with Special Health
6Care Needs, over 60,000 children from birth to age 17 are in need of special health
7care in Wisconsin; and
SJR105,2,98 Whereas, more than 21,000 children in Milwaukee and 44,000 children in
9southeastern Wisconsin have been diagnosed with disabilities; and
SJR105,2,1310 Whereas, according to the Center for Urban Population Health, University of
11Wisconsin (UW) School of Medicine and Public Health, the percentage of children
12who have special health care needs in Milwaukee is 23.5 percent, almost double the
13national average; and
SJR105,2,1714 Whereas, according to the Center for Urban Population Health, UW School of
15Medicine and Public Health, since 2001, diagnosed cases of autism have risen 68
16percent, visual impairment 22 percent, traumatic brain injury 30 percent, and
17developmental delays 20 percent; and
SJR105,2,2118 Whereas, all of these increases in disabilities, lack of funding, service gaps, and
19lack of education and awareness of this rapidly growing epidemic have significantly
20contributed to increasing Milwaukee Public Schools failure rates according to the
21National Survey of Children with Special Care Needs; and
SJR105,2,2322 Whereas, increasing numbers of children with disabilities represent a growing
23burden on government programs, school systems, families, and taxpayers; and
SJR105,3,224 Whereas, to address this troubling trend, MCFI recommends that a regional
25diagnostic, treatment, and resource center be developed in order to provide

1cost-effective, cross-disciplinary strategies for diagnosis, care, and longitudinal
2treatment planning for families with children with disabilities; and
SJR105,3,73 Whereas, strong leadership has been demonstrated by a task force consisting
4of representatives from the Milwaukee Public Schools, the City of Milwaukee Health
5Department, the Milwaukee County Health and Human Services, the
6UW-Milwaukee, and the state Department of Health and Family Services in
7addressing the issue of children with disabilities in southeastern Wisconsin; and
SJR105,3,108 Whereas, Congress has designated the month of October as National Disability
9Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), to increase public awareness of the
10contributions and skills of Americans with disabilities; and
SJR105,3,1411 Whereas, according to MCFI's report on children with disabilities, significant
12cost savings can be achieved and compliance with treatment can be improved,
13resulting in better outcomes by reallocating current resources and coordinating
14treatment programs around the families of children with disabilities; and
SJR105,3,1815 Whereas, more funding initiatives and leadership must be exercised to realize
16a vision of a central, coordinated resource center to facilitate improved diagnosis,
17coordinated treatment, and referral for this specific population of need; now,
18therefore, be it
SJR105,3,21 19Resolved by the senate, the assembly concurring, That the legislature
20expresses its support for the charge and the mission of the Milwaukee Center for
21Independence; and, be it further
SJR105,3,25 22Resolved, That we urge the governor to convene a task force to identify
23funding for the development of a southeastern Wisconsin regional diagnostic,
24treatment, and resource facility for children with disabilities and their families and
25to deal with associated issues; and, be it further
1Resolved, That the senate chief clerk shall transmit a copy of this joint
2resolution to the governor and to the mayor of Milwaukee.
SJR105,4,33 (End)