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Why Not

I am a husband, father, son, brother, uncle and friend. I believe in sharing my talents and experiences by giving back to the community by giving my time to coaching, church and especially to the disability community. I truly believe that all men and women are created equally.

Cudahy Courts Update

From Judge Dobogai

The Cudahy Municipal Court is proud to announce that through steadfast diligence, the court is completely current and running efficiently. The court overcame great obstacles to clear the significant backlog of cases by December 2010. After the backlog was cleared the court continued to make significant changes.  Court hearings are now held immediately after school for juveniles and adult initial appearances are now held in the early evening.   These time changes are meant to allow the public and litigants greater access to the court process.   We continue to develop our court procedures to run more efficiently both in and out of the courtroom.  In January of 2011, an indispensable part-time clerk position was created to assist the court clerk in the administration of court functions.
As a result of the new administration, the city has generated a substantial increase in revenue. For example, during the months of January-April of 2010 the city received $94,478.74 through court revenue. For the same period in 2011 the court’s revenue has doubled to $188,928.34. Although it is not the purpose of the court to generate revenue, it is the natural result of a timely administration of justice.         
John E. Dobogai III
Municipal Judge            

Special Education Voucher Testimony

I had the opportunity to testify before the Assembly Committee on Education of Tuesday.  Here is a copy of my testimony

Good afternoon

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Starting to Feel My Age

This has been a week where I am beginning to feel my age.  The aging part has been coming from the thought that my two oldest kids are entering their final days of elementary school.

On Wednesday night, the Mike and Mike Show at the Cudahy Middle School, held a parents orientation meeting.  Both Mike's have a lot of enthusiam and I have confidence that the kids will enjoy the new environment and get a good education.  My daughter shared her own stories about the 6th grade trip to the Middle School on Friday.

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Happy Mother's Day

To my mom, who is no longer with us, my wife Angie, my step mother Sue, my mother in law Ellen and to all of the Mother's out there I wish you the Happiest of Mother's Day

DHS Wants to Hear from You on Children's Long Term Supports

The WI Council on Children’s Long Term Supports, in collaboration with
the Department of Health Services (DHS), will hold two listening sessions
to get input from families on cost-saving ideas related to the state's
Medicaid programs. DHS Secretary Dennis Smith and DHS Deputy Secretary
Kitty Rhoades are very interested in hearing from families, and this is a
great opportunity to provide your suggestions. These ideas will help DHS
develop plans aimed at improving overall consumer care, streamlining
program delivery and stabilizing programs to ensure long-term

These listening sessions can be accessed directly from your home: you do
not have to travel anywhere. Individuals who are interested in speaking
are asked to keep comments to three minutes.

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Crisis in Long Term Care

Governor Walker’s proposed 2011 – 2013 biennial budget includes a cap on all of Wisconsin’s major

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We are Talking About Real People

Throughout this entire budget process, I sometimes get the feeling that we forget that we are dealing with real people.  All you here about is the dollar amounts.  While these dollar amounts are staggering, we are still forgetting that there will be an affect on people.  Whether it is U.S. citizens as we talk about a massive overhaul of Medicare and Medicaid or Wisconsin citizens when we talk about freezing Family Care, we are talking about real people here.
Yes, I am personally touched by these issues.  My son Tyler is non-verbal and was born with Down syndrome and Autism.  But Tyler has dreams.  Tyler wants to be able to contribute to society by having a job, living on his own, buying consumer goods and most importantly paying taxes. Tyler wants to be able to live the same life as you and me. 
Tyler did not choose to be born with a disability, but he has learned to live with it.  It was the Good Lord who decided that my family should be blessed with Tyler.  All Tyler is looking for is a little help and a fair shake in life.  Tyler does not feel that he is entitled to anything.  In fact he does not really know what this means.  But Tyler does understand that he needs some help.  Tyler also understands that his family needs some help as well to take care of him.
When it comes to housing, Tyler wants to live where he wants.  All too often, we hear communities say that is a great idea, but not in my backyard.
When it comes to employment, Tyler wants a real competitive wage job, not a job that pays him sub-minimum wage that many individuals with disabilities get pigeon holed into.
Throughout my travels in the disability community, every person that I have encountered feels the same way.  They want to be treated as regular people, just like every reader of this blog.  The one exception is that they need some help.  They are not asking for a free ride, just help to have the same quality of life as you and me. 
We hear that a major part of the problem is that health care costs have risen too fast and they exceed the money available to help those who need it most.  Have we looked into why these costs are rising so fast, not just taken the word of the industry itself?  Or is this off limits because it is a private industry and the lobbyists for the health care industry will not allow it? 
Do we not have a moral obligation as a country to take care of our own citizens who need it the most?  I find that those who argue the loudest against these programs are people who are not affected by the programs and do not rely on them to be able to live a quality life.

Keeping the Community Promise

Governor Scott Walker has said time and time again that he is not doing anything that he did not mention during his campaign.  While some may argue that this is not true, I hope the following statement from his Primary Election Victory Speech on September 14, 2010 is something that he keeps his promise on.

"Before I took office, there was literally a waiting list of 3,000 older adults waiting for long-term care in our community.  Today, not one senior is on a waiting list because we stood up and led the way.  We can do it for the State as well."

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Press Release in Regards to Caps on Family Care

Here is a press release in regards to the Joint Committee of Finance Action on Medical Assistance, Family Care and SeniorCare.  Having spent a significant amount of time on this issue, it was very dishearting to hear that there will be a cap on Family Care.

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What Does the Future Hold for my Son?

I received a call on Wednesday asking my thoughts on Joint Finances decision to recommend placing a cap on Family Care and the related waiver programs.  I told the caller that it had only been a couple of hours since I found out, I was still trying to put my thoughts together.

My first reaction to the news was a huge sigh of uneasiness.  I thought what am I going to do now.  As I continued to think about it, it was not how this is going to affect me, but how is this going to affect my son Tyler

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Wisconsin Families Forward

I am currently working with the above group in an effort to still have the Long Term Cares cap lifted. Please help me pass this message on to all Wisconsin Families.

We had to make a final, urgent decision on the name, so after reading all the e-mail responses and talking to a few of you, this is what we came up with. I hope that is OK!!! The reason our timeline is more urgent is due to information I learned today at a meeting with other lobbyists. The Joint Finance Committee pushed through several big votes today on education and transportation. They take up big issues like county funding, income maintenance, child support and corrections next Tuesday. Those topics and a few others (choice schools, for one) are expected to go on all next week – and the budget bill will likely be voted out of the joint finance committee by next Saturday, June 4. Then it moves to both the Assembly and Senate for caucus conversations (deciding what each party will agree to and wants to amend) and then there will be finally votes on the floor. That process will take a least a week – and for our purposes, hopefully more. Therefore our advocacy needs to be targeted and strong over the next 2 weeks in order to have any impact.

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Memorial Day

I would like to thank all who have served our country throughout its history.  I would especially like to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.

What is it Like Raising a Child with a Disability

As we were discussing a strategy for Wisconsin Families Forward, the conversation turned to talking about the struggles that individuals and families face on a daily basis. 

A couple of weeks ago, I spoke to the Men's Club at Nativity of the Lord Parish.  I was asked to talk about what it is like to raise a child with a disability.  As I prepared for the talk, I reflected on the stuggles that we have faced.  I think that I have only told a couple of friends once each about the struggles that I have faced.  I don't like to focus on the struggles, I believe that my son's cup is half full, not half empty. 

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Remember Your Graduation

Think back for a minute and remember your high school graduation.  Most every student looked to the future with big eyes, they were going to concur the world.  You were leaving the comforts of home and in some cases those long friendships.  Some were going to college, others the military, still others direct to the job market.  But, in most cases it was your choice.

Now try and imagine not having something to do after high school.  You only have 2 options, live at home with family or go into a nursing home environment (which could be at tax payer expense). For years, these were the only 2 options for individuals with disabilities. 

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