DEC 28 1995 The Honorable Richard Shelby United States Senate 110 Hart Senate Office Building Washington

, D.C. 20510-0103 Dear Senator Shelby: I am responding to your letter on behalf of your constituents, XX regarding a county government's decision to waive garbage collection fees for individuals who rely on Social Security as their sole source of income, while requiring payment by individuals relying on veterans' benefits, disability benefits, or other sources of income. XX argue that such distinctions are discriminatory against individuals with disabilities and other individuals. Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by State and local government agencies. Nothing in the ADA prohibits governments from providing special benefits, discounts, or fee waivers to individuals with disabilities or groups of individuals with disabilities. However, the ADA also does not prohibit the provision of such benefits, discounts, or waivers only to senior citizens, as long as the benefits, discounts, or waivers are offered equally to senior citizens who have disabilities and those who do not. I have enclosed a copy of the Department of Justice's regulation implementing title II of the ADA and a Title II Technical Assistance Manual. I hope this information is helpful to you in responding to your constituents. Sincerely, Deval L. Patrick Assistant Attorney General Civil Rights Division Enclosures FOIA 01-04134

Sen. Richard Shelby 509 - Hart Senate Office Building Washington, D.C. 20510 Dear Sir,

Nov. 6, 1995

I would appreciate receiving some information regarding discrimination toward Senior Citizens, disabled, low income or no income citizens. Lawrence County has mandatory garbage pick up and many of its citizens cannot afford to pay the garbage fee. At a meeting, the question was asked whether Senior Citizens would be exempt from paying the garbage fee. We were told "No" They are prevented from singling out a specific class of people for special treatment in regard to the rates they pay. Then we learned that people who have only Social Security income could be exempt. But anyone drawing V.A. disability or any other small income would not be exempt. Also they only took applications for exemption a short period of time; about a month. They quit taking applications in May, 1995 and said they had all the applications they could process. Now we have learned that the Health Department is still exempting some people and ignoring other people who are qualified for exemption. The Alabama State Health Department is partially funded by federal money. Lawrence County Health Department is using federal money to collect fees for Waste Contractors, a multi-million dollar company and if the citizens don't 01-04135 ​the Health Department will have the people arrested, put in jail and will take those citizens to Court. The Health Department discriminates against Lawrence County citizens. They make some pay the garbage fees and others are exempt. Joe Wheeler Corp. is a distributor of

power for TVA and receives federal money from TVA. The money is used to put the garbage fee on electric bills. If the members don't say the garbage fee. Joe Wheeler turns them in to the Health Department so they can have the people arrested, put in jail and taken to court. Joe Wheeler discriminates against citizens by making some pay the garbage fee and others are exempt. The Lawrence County Commission receives federal money. They made garbage pick-up mandatory. They allow some folks to be exempt and others have to pay. If the people do not pay the fee, they are arrested, put in jail and taken to court. This is discrimination! Joe Wheeler, Lawrence County Commission and the Health Department don't care what the citizens do with the garbage, as long as they pay the fee. The money is all they are interested in. A person can draw the maximum Social Security, $1,300 or more, and still be exempt, but if a person draws VA, welfare or retirement, as little as $250.00, or unemployment and can't get a job, they are still billed for the garbage fee. If they can't pay, they will be arrested, put in jail and taken to Court. Citizens are arrested and tried as criminals by the District Attorney for 01-04136 ​a month they cannot afford to pay. It costs more to arrest and try the people then they would pay in 5 years$7.64 x 12= $91.68 x 5= $458.40. Since jail time is involved the defendant would be eligible for a court appointed attorney in any criminal case. The Health Department Lawrence County Commission and Joe Wheeler said the ones who do not pay will be made an example

of by being arrested and prosecuted in Court. They will not give qualified citizens Exemption Applications and said it would be some time in 1996 before application would be accepted again. We need the federal law that states "any agency that receives federal money cannot discriminate against different class of people regarding rates charged." We would appreciate it if you would put a stop to this harassment, discrimination and punishment toward Senior Citizens disabled, low income or no income citizens. Now you have an opportunity to make an example of these agencies. You can cut off their federal money. We, the Lawrence County citizens, need your help in this matter and would appreciate hearing from you as soon as possible. Sincerely, XX 01-04137