Disability Policy News In Brief

October 24, 2016

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October 24, 2016   |   Vol. XV, Issue 95
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FY 2017 Appropriations

When lawmakers return after the election, they must move to fund federal-funded programs beyond Dec. 9, when the current continuing resolution expires.  Given the short time period and the continued disagreements among priorities, Congress will most likely wrap all 12 spending bills into one omnibus bill.  It is also possible that Congress will simply pass another short-term CR and leave it to the next Congress to finish the work.  The Lame Duck congressional session is scheduled for Nov. 14 through at least Dec. 9. 

Health Plans Open Enrollment for 2017

Open Enrollment starts again on November 1, 2016.  This is the first day you can enroll, re-enroll, or change a 2017 insurance plan through the Affordable Care Act Health Insurance Marketplace. Coverage can start as soon as January 1, 2017.  HealthCare.gov provides information on insurance plans.  Visitors can also use the site for information about Medicaid, tax credits, and cost-sharing reductions.

Supreme Court

On March 16 President Obama nominated Merrick B. Garland to be the nation's 113th Supreme Court justice. Since this time, and though these actions are in a sense violating the US Constitution, many Republican senators have opposed holding confirmation hearings claiming that "voters deserve to pick the person who will nominate the next high-court justice". That being said, the now long-standing vacancy on the US Supreme Court is likely to continue to have an impact on the number and kinds of cases the court agrees to hear. With only eight justices, the court may have tie decisions, which leave standing the lower court's decision while setting no precedent to govern other similar cases. The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) has provided an overview of some of the upcoming Supreme Court cases.

Voting Rights

With the November 8 elections right around the corner, several disability organizations have development fact sheets and guides that highlight voter challenges, voting rights, and voter support. The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) and Asian Americans Advancing Justice created a fact sheet on voter challenges at the polls; Bazelon Center, NDRN, and Autistic Self Advocacy Network created a guide to voting rights for people with mental disabilities;  The Arc created a voter support website/mobile site; and Election Protection developed a website that advances and defends the right to vote.

Tuesdays with Liz: Disability Policy for All       

In celebration of National Disability Employment month, during this week's edition of Tuesdays with Liz, Liz interviews Renee Tajudeen from the Office of Disability Employment and Policy (ODEP). In case you missed last week's edition, Liz interviewed Bruce Darling (Community Organizer for ADAPT) about the Disability Integration Act.

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

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