AUCD Legislative News In Brief

October 20, 2014

AUCD Legislative News In Brief
    October 20, 2014   |  Vol. XIV, Issue 42
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Congressional Schedule

Congress remains in recess, preparing for the November 4 elections. Congress will return November 12 for a lame duck session.


Congress is currently planning to reconvene for a special "lame duck" session on November 12.  One of the biggest priorities will be to complete appropriations for fiscal year 2015 that began on October 1, 2014. The current continuing resolution that began October 1 expires on December 11. It is not certain whether appropriations leaders will try to negotiate an omnibus bill incorporating all 12 funding bills for the remainder of the fiscal year or pass another short-term continuing resolution until early in the new year. Negotiations over final funding levels could be complicated by a supplemental request for additional funding to address the Ebola virus.  An emergency spending designation would push spending over the discretionary spending caps set by the Budget Control Act. If it is not designated as emergency spending, appropriators will have to find spending cuts in order to pay for the new spending or trigger across the board cuts (sequestration).  AUCD will continue to monitor the budget and appropriations negotiations and advocate for the highest possible funding levels for programs within the Departments of Health and Human Services, Education, and Labor.

Children's Health Insurance Program

AUCD has signed on to a letter organized by First Focus supporting a four-year extension of the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). CHIP funding is currently set to expire September 30, 2015 but a four-year extension of this state-federal program passed now would help state governments as they plan their FY16 budgets. Senator Rockefeller (D-WV) has introduced a bill to reauthorize the program, which AUCD supports.

White House Champions of Change in Disability Employment

On October 14, the White House honored ten people from across the country as Champions of Change in Disability Employment. The honorees include a veteran with a disability who runs his own organic egg business, managers from Walgreens, Procter & Gamble and Microsoft who have taken steps to boost disability employment within their ranks and the founder of a company that helps ensure that the digital systems businesses use are accessible. Many disability leaders from across the nation were in attendance of this event including AUCD's Andy Imparato, Symme Trachtenberg from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia LEND and Bill Kiernan from the Institute for Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts Boston.


The Department of Justice has published two new technical assistance documents regarding the rights of voters with disabilities: The Americans with Disabilities Act and Other Federal Laws Protecting the Rights of Voters with Disabilities and Solutions for Five Common Access Problems at Polling Places. Laws covered in the DOJ publications include the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Voting Rights Act, the National Voter Registration Act and the Help America Vote Act. Both are posted at and have been commended by the National Council on Disability.

Administration for Community Living

The Administration for Community Living (ACL) has just announced a reorganization in structure to better align missions and incorporate the Paralysis Resource Center and State Health Insurance Assistance Programs, which respectively moved from the CDC and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid to ACL earlier this year. This reorganization also prepares for programs to move over the next year from the Department of Education to ACL as part of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. The reorganization replaces the Center for Disability & Aging Policy with the Center for Consumer Access and Self-Determination, and realigns policy development and program evaluation activities into the newly created Center for Policy and Evaluation. The Paralysis Resource Center will be housed within the Administration for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD) Office of Innovation and the President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities will now be located in the AIDD Commissioner's immediate office.

AUCD Annual Conference Hill Visits

Wednesday, November 12 is the day of our annual conference set aside for participants to meet with their congressional delegation. Learn more about hill visits and find tips at talking points on the conference site. Given that November 12 is the first day that Congress will be back for the special post-election session, there may be some challenges to making appointments, especially if there are many election upsets or if the Senate majority changes. However, it is important that your Senators and Representatives hear directly from you about the work that you do and why the work is important to people with disabilities in your state and nationwide. We also need to build new congressional champions on disability issues. If you have any questions about making these appointments, please contact Kim Musheno or Rachel Patterson at the AUCD office.


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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:

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