With the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act approaching, an Illinois politician who voted for the bill says the same legislation would not pass today. U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) was a House member when the ADA was passed in 1990. He calls the effort “the pinnacle of bipartisanship,” something he says would be difficult to pull off in the current Congress. “I wonder today if we could pass it,” Durbin said. “Sadly, we’re in a different time politically, but fortunately for those with disabilities, there was that moment 25 years ago when it all came together.”
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Durbin says he’s proud that Illinois was ahead of the times on disability rights, mentioning a post-World War 2 program where the University of Illinois opened a campus at a VA hospital in Galesburg for disabled veterans. While Durbin applauds the achievements made through the ADA, he says celebrating the anniversary should serve as a reminder that more work must be done to help those who are disabled.