AUCD Legislative News In Brief

April 9, 2012

AUCD Legislative News In Brief
 
  April 9, 2012   |  Vol. XII, Issue 15
  
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Congressional Schedule
Congress is in recess this week.  Recess is an excellent time to attend Town Hill meetings or arrange personal meetings with your members of Congress while they are in their state/district offices.  Right now is a good time to share recent successes and ongoing efforts of your Center(s).  Remember to thank your representatives for past support.  For more information about current federal issues impacting people with disabilities, visit AUCD's
public policy page.

Autism Awareness Month
AUCD joins the rest of the disability community in celebrating Autism Awareness Month and the research and training that is underway to address the needs of families and individuals affected by autism.  Although significant progress has been made over the past few years, a great deal more needs to be done in developing appropriate services and supports for children, adolescents and adults on the autism spectrum and their families.  Click here to learn more about the AUCD network's work in this area and Autism Awareness Month initiatives.

Budget & Appropriations
The House approved the budget resolution developed up by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) before leaving for the two-week recess.  The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) compiled a set of analyses of various parts of the Ryan plan on their website.  The Senate has not yet developed a budget resolution.  Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has stated that there is no need to develop a BR since the Budget Control Act already set discretionary caps; however, over the weekend, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-MT) suggested that his Committee will be developing a budget, not just for this year, but for long-term deficit reduction.  Meanwhile, the appropriations subcommittees plan to begin working on the annual appropriations bills soon after they return from recess, but most commentary still suggests that the final funding amounts will not be resolved until after the elections.

Education
The U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services and Education have launched a redesigned Stop Bullying website to encourage children, parents, teachers and communities to take action.  The website includes a section dedicated to youth with disabilities and special health needs.  The website also has a map with information on state laws and policies and videos for young people, along with practical strategies for schools and communities to make sure that environments are safe, as well as suggestions for parents and information on the dangers of cyber-bullying. 

Amicus Brief
In late January, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that it reached a settlement agreement with the Commonwealth of Virginia to resolve violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (for details see January 30th In Brief).  The agreement requires Virginia to expand community-based services to serve people with developmental disabilities in their homes or other integrated community settings.  In response, thirteen family members of residents of institutions, who oppose the settlement, filed a Motion to Intervene.  In late March, AUCD joined six other Virginia organizations in signing onto an amicus (friend of the court) brief drafted by the Center for Public Representation (CPR), opposing the Motion.  The memo argues, in essence, that the opponents' concerns should be heard, but that formal intervention is not necessary or legally appropriate. 

Affordable Care Act: Get the Facts
AUCD offers facts about the law and its implementation in this new section of In Brief.  Tell us what you think about this new section and our Get the Facts page by emailing ejensby@aucd.org. 

ACA Facts: Children Covered to Age 26
The Affordable Care Act requires insurers to cover dependent children up to age 26 on their parents' plans.

Disability Policy Seminar
This year's Disability Policy Seminar is just two weeks away!  We have an exciting agenda covering all the major areas of disability policy.  Please visit
www.disabilitypolicyseminar.org to register.  Fact sheets and a final program will be posted this week.  You can also visit the Hill visits page to see a state-by-state list of attendees which you can use to coordinate your Hill visits, as well as a list of key committees and tips for visiting your members of Congress.  Make sure to schedule these visits before coming to D.C.!

You can view AUCD's Seminar orientation webinar on our Webinar Library.

  • Don't miss these Seminar events!
  • Trainee Reception on Sunday the 22nd (6:00 - 7:30 p.m.)
  • Capitol Hill Reception on Tuesday the 24th (5:30 - 7:30 p.m.)
  • Sibling Breakfast/Meet and Greet for Self-Advocates on Monday the 23rd (7:45 - 8:45)
  • Award Recipients and Keynote Speakers: Sen. Tom Harkin and Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez (time and place to be announced)


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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