Legislative News InBrief

October 23, 2006


Kim E. Musheno
Director of Public Policy
301-588-8252
kmusheno@aucd.org

Congressional Schedule and Appropriations
The House and Senate are in recess until after the November elections. Congress passed only two of the FY 2007 appropriations bills before recessing. The remaining agencies are currently funded through a continuing resolution that expires Nov. 17. The CR funds programs at the lowest of the House-passed, Senate-passed or fiscal 2006 levels. Congress will return after the elections to finish the remaining appropriations bills or pass a long term CR. The "lame-duck" schedule is still unclear as is the strategy for finishing the remaining 10 appropriations bills before Thanksgiving, the current target date for final adjournment of the 109th Congress. AUCD is still hopeful that several bills important to the network will be taken up in the lame duck session. Please see AUCD's latest action alerts for ways to help move the association's legislative agenda forward before the end of this Congress.

Medicaid
AUCD staff will attend the final meeting of the Federal Medicaid Commission on November 16-17 in Virginia. The Commission will discuss and vote on options for making longer-term recommendations on the future of the Medicaid program. Issues to be addressed may include: Eligibility, benefit design, and delivery; expanding the number of people covered with quality care while recognizing budget constraints; long term care; quality of care, choice, and beneficiary satisfaction; and program administration. A final report with recommendations is due December 31, 2006. For more information, see the Medicaid Commission website.

Voting/Elections
There are only two weeks remaining before election day. AUCD encourages network members to get out and vote and encourage others to vote. AUCD's online Election Site at http://capwiz.com/aucd/e4 / may help! Site visitors only need to enter their address to find general information about the candidates running in his/her state or district as well as information about election rules, how to register, and where to vote. Please spread the word about this valuable easy-to-use tool!

AUCD Legislative Goals Development
The Legislative Affairs Committee is hosting its first Legislative Goals Town Hall meeting this Sunday, Oct. 29 during AUCD's Annual Meeting and Conference. The purpose of this event is to input from the network for AUCD's legislative priorities for the 110th Congress. Please join us at 6 p.m. in Renaissance West A to help shape AUCD's federal legislative agenda. If you are unable to join us in person, please email your ideas to Kim Musheno (kmusheno@aucd.org) by Nov. 17, 2006. After ideas are collected, the Legislative Affairs Committee and Board of Directors will finalize the Association's legislative agenda before the start of the new Congress. For more information about the annual meeting, see the meeting program.

Legislative Affairs Committee
The Legislative Affairs Committee meets on Sunday, Oct. 29 from 2-4 p.m. at the Renaissance Hotel in Room 10. The meeting is open to all. The Committee will discuss the status of its legislative priorities and begin planning its agenda for the new Congress. A written legislative report to the Board of Directors will be distributed to Committee members at that time.

The AUCD Legislative Affairs Committee Co-Chairs emailed a sample invitation for network members to use to encourage their Members of Congress and staff to attend the Association's Annual Meeting Poster Session and Reception on Tuesday, Oct. 31. If you haven't already done so, please remember to email, fax, or call your delegation to encourage them to come and view the exciting work that is being conducted by the AUCD network. For more information about the annual meeting, see the meeting program.

Gold Star Award
Meeting participants are encouraged to join AUCD at the awards ceremony on Wednesday morning, Nov. 1, to see Aaron Bishop, staff to Chairman Mike Enzi (R-WY) of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, receive the Gold Star Award during the Annual Meeting. The Legislative Affairs Committee nominated Bishop for the award for his outstanding work on federal disability related policy issues. From IDEA to the Workforce Investment Act, Bishop unfailingly works with AUCD, disability advocates, and people with disabilities to make certain that public policy takes steps forward in enhancing the independence and quality of life for people with disabilities. The Gold Star is one of many distinguished awards to be presented at the annual ceremony. We look forward to seeing you there!