AUCD Legislative News In Brief

August 15, 2011

AUCD Legislative News In Brief
 
  August 15, 2011   |  Vol. XI, Issue 33
  
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Congressional Schedule
Congress is on recess until after Labor Day.  Because there are so many issues at stake for people with disabilities right now, AUCD strongly urges you to participate in Town Hall meetings and other opportunities to meet with your Members of Congress while they are on recess.  Visit AUCD's Action Center to find the contact information for your Members' local offices.  Call the office and ask when and where their next town hall meeting will be.  Use the Action Center, read past issues of In Brief or explore AUCD's Policy pages to learn about current legislation and its impact on people with disabilities.

Budget & Appropriations
Last week, congressional leaders selected the 12 members of the bipartisan deficit panel established by the recently enacted Budget Control Act, the bipartisan compromise to raise the debt limit and establish a long-term plan to reduce the deficit.  Republican leaders selected Senators John Kyl (AZ), Patrick Toomey (PA) and Rob Portman (OH), and Representatives Fred Upton (MI), Dave Camp (MI) and Jeb Hensarling (TX).  Democrats will be represented by Senators Max Baucus (MT), John Kerry (MA), and Patty Murray (WA), and Representatives Chris Van Hollen (MD), James Clyburn (SC) and Xavier Becerra (CA).  The group is tasked with developing a package of deficit reduction strategies that will amount to $1.2 - 1.5 trillion in cuts, and can examine reforms to entitlement programs in order to achieve the savings.  The panel's recommendations, which are due by Thanksgiving, could have immense and long lasting impacts on entitlement and other disability programs.  The bill also included a number of up-front cuts which lawmakers will be finalizing over the next two months.  Please see AUCD's Appropriations page for links to summaries and preliminary analyses of the Budget Control Act.

Education
The U.S. Department of Education issued a press release Monday reaffirming its intention to provide a process for states to seek waivers from some provisions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, known as No Child Left Behind.  The Department points to a lack of action by Congress to reauthorize the law as the reason for creating such a process, which would relieve states from some of the law's requirements in exchange for implementing education reforms supported by the Administration.  The Department plans to unveil this list of reforms next month, but has promised that the waiver process will not be a pass on accountability measures.  The proposal has created controversy, however.  Some lawmakers have questioned whether the Department has the legal authority to grant such waivers, while others are concerned that its efforts could stifle congressional action on the law. 

National Conference of State Legislatures Summit
AUCD partnered with the Center on Disability and Development at Texas A&M University to exhibit at the NCSL Legislative Summit last week.  The Summit provides an opportunity to enhance the visibility of the AUCD network and share information about key policy issues.  AUCD distributed fact sheets on
Medicaid, the Combating Autism Reauthorization Act and restraint and seclusion in schools. 

AUCD Legislative Affairs Committee
The AUCD Legislative Affairs Committee will hold its monthly meeting tomorrow, August 16.  An agenda was sent to the committee.  For more information, contact Kim Musheno at kmusheno@aucd.org. 

 

For definitions of terms used in In Brief, please see AUCD's Glossary of Legislative Terms.

For copies of this and previous issues of Legislative News In Brief please visit the Public Policy Page of the AUCD website: http://www.aucd.org/template/page.cfm?id=164

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