Disability Policy News In Brief

April 6, 2015

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April 6, 2015   |   Vol. XV, Issue 14
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Congressional Schedule

Congress is currently on spring recess.  This is an excellent time to get in touch with your members of Congress about important issues, like the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), implementation of  the ABLE Act and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). 


The beginning of April is also the deadline for Members of Congress to submit any special requests for funding priorities to the leaders of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees.  AUCD network programs received a number of special requests from individual Members. Senator Murray (D-WA), ranking minority member of the Senator Appropriations Committee put network programs on her list, as did Representative Kevin Yoder (R-KS), a member of the House Appropriations Committee. In addition to those requests, Connecticut Senators Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal and Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown together wrote a letter to Senate Chairman Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Murray, urging them to support the funding requests of the three DD Act network programs: UCEDD, DD Councils, and Protection and Advocacy Systems.  Finally, Rep. Chris Smith, Chair of the Autism Caucus, wrote a letter to House appropriators urging them to increase the funding for LEND programs so that up to two more programs could be funded in states that do not have such programs, as originally envisioned by the Autism CARES Act.  Smith's letter also urged ongoing support for the UCEDD programs.  AUCD network leaders and allies in these states are encouraged to thank these members for their ongoing support.


According to some Hill staff, HELP Committee Chairman Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Minority Member Murray (D-WA) are nearing agreement on a bipartisan proposal to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).  The agreement is expected to be released sometime this week. Once released, Alexander and Murray will have to educate and convince at least 60 Senators to support the bill in order for it to pass the full senate.  In addition, the House has not yet passed its bill (HR 5) to reauthorize ESEA.  The bill was pulled from the floor when House leaders realized it did not have enough votes to pass the bill.  AUCD is hoping that the Congress will come together to pass a bipartisan bill that maintains accountability for states to educate all students, including those with disabilities.  For more information about AUCD's priorities, please see our policy site dedicated to the reauthorization.  

AUCD staff has been attending meetings on the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and the Higher Education Act (HEA) informing congressional staffers of our education principles and educating them on provision that impact students with disabilities and their families. Mark up for ESEA is currently anticipated the week Congress returns from Spring Recess, April 13. After the reauthorization of ESEA Congress will likely focus on Higher Education Act. 

AUCD is reviewing a number of bills related to education including the Family Engagement Act (S.622) a bill that would increase funding tied to family-engagement. The legislation also would require school districts to develop and enact standards-based policies and practices to support family-school partnerships. Finally, the bill would set aside funds to increase state capacity-building efforts, such as creating statewide family-engagement centers.


Last week the Department of Labor posted five Notices of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRMs) governing the implementation and administration of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) to the Federal Register website.  The NPRMS cover: Unified and combined state plans, performance accountability, and the one-stop system , DOL-administered activities, Title II Adult Education and Family Literacy Activities, Miscellaneous program changes, State Vocational Rehabilitation Services program, state-supported Employment Service programs, and limitations on the use of subminimum wage.  These are inter/ cross agency regulations between the Department of Education and the Department of Labor. The proposals also include key questions posed to the field for response.  The deadline for comment is June 15, 2015; comments need to be submitted to www.regulations.gov

AUCD will be developing comments with the employment policy workgroup, if you want to join this workgroup please email Kim Musheno: [email protected]  

President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities 

Tomorrow, Tuesday April 7, from 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm EST the President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities (PCPID) is hosting a virtual meeting for its members to discuss how technology can impact the lives of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.  This meeting is open to the public click here to register.

Disability Policy Seminar

The deadline to register has passed but you can still register on-site.  The most important day of the event is Wednesday, April 15, for Hill visits.  Please follow the instructions on how to make Hill visit appointments and be sure to do this before you arrive.   To prepare for the Seminar be sure to watch the webinar: What to Know Before you Go: Preparing for the Disability Policy Seminar 2015.

Editor's Note: In Brief will not be published next week during the Disability Policy Seminar. In Brief will return on April 20.  


For more from AUCD, follow @AUCDNews and like AUCD on Facebook

For updates from our Executive Director Andy Imparato, follow @AndyAUCD.

For more policy news, follow Kim on Twitter at @kmusheno

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


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