AUCD Legislative News InBrief

June 25, 2007

FY 08 Appropriations

The Senate Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee marked up its spending bill on June 19, followed by full committee approval on June 21. The House Appropriations Subcommittee passed its bill on June 7 (see June 8 In Brief). The table below highlights appropriations levels in the House and Senate with differences over FY 07. In general, levels for the most programs listed below are higher in the Senate. While encouraging, many steps remain in the appropriations process. The next step is for the full House Committee to mark up their bill which is tentatively scheduled for the week of July 9. Following that, a conference committee will be appointed to work out differences between the House and Senate. Also, as reported in more detail below there is a looming threat of a Presidential veto.


FY 08 L-HHS-ED Appropriations:

Comparison between House Subcommittee and Senate Committee

FY 07 Final



(FY07 Difference)



(FY07 Difference)

Senate - House Difference



33.2 (+0.01)

38.7 (+5.5)


DD Councils


76.7 (+5.0)

77.3 (+5.6)




38.7 (0.0)

42.7 (+4.0)


PNS/Family Support


11.4 (0.0)

15.4 (+4.0)


Family Support Clearinghouse and TA





Voter Access


15.7 (0.0)

16.7 (+1.0)


MCH Block Grant


750.0 (+57.0)

673.0 (-20.0)


CDC Center on Birth Defects/DD



128.7 (+4.2)




29,650.0 (+719.0)

29,899.9 (+968.9)




1,273.8 (+19.1)

1,282.2 (+27.5)







Child Abuse State Grants


27.0 (0.0)

27.0 (0.0)


Discretionary Grants


36.0 (+10.3)

37.7 (+12.0)


Community Based Resource Centers


42.0 (0.0)

42.4 (+0.4)


Social Services (SSBG)


1,700.0 (0.0)



National Family Caregiver Support


156.0 (0.0)

156.0 (0.0)


IDEA Part B State Grants


10,957.4 (+174.4)

11,240.0 (+457.1)


Part B Preschool Grants


380.7 (0.0)

380.7 (0.0)


Part C Infants and Toddlers


436.4 (0.0)

450.0 (+13.6)







Personnel Development



46.0 (-4.7)*


TA and dissemination


48.9 (0.0)

48.9 (0.0)


Personnel Preparation


89.7 (0.0)

89.7 (0.0)


Parent information centers


25.7 (0.0)

27.0 (0.0)


Technology and media


36.9 (-1.5)

40.0 (+1.6)


Institute for Education Sciences





Research in Spec. Ed.


71.8 (0.0)

71.8 (0.0)


Studies and Evaluations


9.9 (0.0)

9.6 (-3.0)


Higher Ed Demonstration in Disabilities


6.8 (0.0)

6.8 (0.0)




106.7 (0.0)

106.7 (0.0)


VR State Grants


2,874.0 (+36.8)

2,847.0 (+36.8)


VR Supported Employment


30.0 (0.0)

29.7 (-0.3)*


Assistive Technology


30.5 (0.0)

32.0 (+1.5)


Lifespan Respite Care Act

New law




* Although a discrepancy is reported, the Senate report indicates same level intended as FY 07


Department of Health and Human Services

DD Programs

The Senate bill includes a $20 million increase (11.7%) for the DD programs, including a $5.5 million increase to the University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDDs) to $38.7 million; $77.3 for the DD Councils (+5.5 million); $42.7 million (+$4 million) for the Protection and Advocacy Systems; $16.7 million for disabled voter services; and $15.4 million for Projects of National Significance (+4 million). The Committee also includes a new $2 million for a National Clearinghouse and Technical Assistance Center on Family Support with local projects in as many states as funds permit. The report indicates that this would "supplement not supplant" current funding for family support. The purpose of the Center is to promote leadership by families of children with disabilities in the design and improvement of family-centered and family-controlled systems of family support services as described in the Family Support Act (Title II of the DD Act).


For the National Institutes of Health, the Senate bill provides $29.9 billion, an increase of approximately $1 billion (3.5 percent) over the FY 2007 level, and $250 million over the level in the House Subcommittee bill approved June 7. The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) would receive an increase of about 2.2% to $1.28 billion. AUCD is advocating for an overall increase of 6.7% for NIH and urging Congress to provide NICHD at least the same percentage increase that NIH receives. Report language was included that expresses concern over recent cuts to MRDDRCs and encourages NICHD to restore these reductions and to the extent possible provide additional resources to MRDDRCs.



The Senate bill provides an increase in CDC's National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities to $128.7 million, an approximately $4 million increase over FY 2007. The full committee report with the House number for the National Center will not be released until after the committee markup in July.


HRSA Maternal and Child Health and LEND

The Senate Committee provides $673 million for the Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Block Grant, the same level as the current year funding. However, the Committee is moving the appropriations for the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) program and the Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics Training Program from the SPRANS set-aside into a new $37 million line item for "Autism and Related Developmental Disabilities" intended to implement the Combating Autism Act. Part of these funds are intended to expand funding for the existing LEND programs and to expand the number of LEND programs in states that do not have one. We understand that the House takes a different approach by keeping the LEND program in he SPRANS account but increasing the funding to allow for the implementation of the Combating Autism Act.

Child Abuse Prevention

The Senate bill provides approximately a $12.0 million increase for Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) discretionary grants, an amount slightly higher that the House subcommittee. This increase is intended to support a nurse home visitation program that was part of the President's budget request.

Administration on Aging/National Family Caregiver Support Program

Despite a recommendation from last year's White House Conference on Aging for increased funding of the National Family Caregiver Support Program, neither the House nor the Senate bills provide any increases for this program. The program is level-funded at $156 million. The President's budget request cuts the program by $2 million.


Lifespan Respite Care Act

AUCD is very disappointed to report that both the House Subcommittee and Senate bills provide no funding for the recently enacted Lifespan Respite Care Act. The President also provided zero funding for the law in his budget request. This is in spite of heavy advocacy efforts from the grassroots and the law's original co-sponsors. The Lifespan Respite Care Act would provide competitive grants for community-based respite care services for caregivers of individuals with special needs of all ages. AUCD will be working with the Lifespan Respite Coalition to urge the introduction of a House amendment to provide the full $40 million for FY 08. However, an amendment at this point would require an offset.

Department of Education



The Senate bill provides $11.24 billion for the Part B State Grant program, an increase of $456.6 million over FY 07 and $282.6 million over the House Subcommittee. There are also increases in Part C, and Part D (Parent Information Centers and Technology and Media) not contained in the House subcommittee bill.


Institute for Education Sciences

The is a slight decrease in the Senate bill for funding of studies and evaluations within the Center for Special Education Research of the Institute for Education Sciences (IES).


Higher Education

AUCD is pleased to report that both the House subcommittee and the Senate bill provide $6.8 million for the Higher Education Demonstration for Students with Disabilities. The President's budget provided zero funding for this program.


Department of Labor


Rehabilitative Services, Research

Both the Senate and House bills include $2.874 billion for Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) State Grants, an increase of $36.8 million. The President's request to significantly cut the Office on Disability Employment (ODEP) programs was ignored. Also the President's request to eliminate several programs within the DOL, including Supported Employment, Projects with Industry, Recreational Programs, and Migrant and the Seasonal Farmworkers programs was not followed.

Assistive Technology
The Senate bill provides $32 million for AT programs. This amount is $1.5 million higher that the House subcommittee and o ignores the President's proposal to cut the Assistive Technology programs by $4.4 million.


Presidential Veto Threat on Appropriations

Unfortunately and significantly, the President continues to threaten to veto any spending bills that exceed his budget request. The L-HHS-ED is in that category which seriously threatens the potential increases outlined above. AUCD has signed onto a coalition letter urging passage of the House L-HHS-ED bill in order to prevent or overturn a presidential veto, and the letter was sent to our network for state organizational signatures. The deadline for signatures has now been extended to Tuesday, June 26.


Higher Education Act

Last week the Senate HELP Committee unanimously passed a bill to reauthorize the Higher Education Act reauthorization (S.1642). The bill enhances undergraduate and Masters teacher preparation to address teacher shortage areas, including special education. The bill reauthorizes existing postsecondary demonstration projects for students with disabilities and adds a new program for individuals with intellectual disabilities. The new program authorizes at least 10 competitive 5-year grants to institutions of higher education develop "comprehensive transition and postsecondary programs for students with intellectual disabilities." A coordinating center is also authorized to provide technical assistance, evaluation and development of accreditation standards. In addition, students with intellectual disabilities who enroll in comprehensive transition and postsecondary programs for students with intellectual disabilities will be eligible, for the first time, for student federal financial assistance - Pell grants, work study grants and campus based grants. AUCD worked with the National Down Syndrome Society and other organizations to include the demonstrations and access to financial aid. Additional work will be needed to ensure these positive additions are included in a House reauthorization bill.


Head Start

The Senate unanimously passed its version of legislation to reauthorize the Head Start program. The bill is nearly identical to a bill passed by the Senate HELP Committee in February. Similar to the House bill (which passed on May 2 by a vote of 365-48), it calls for increased funding levels for the Head Start program. The bill would authorize $7.4 billion in FY08, $500 million more than FY07. Authorized funding levels would increase to$7.7 billion in FY 09 and $8 billion in FY10. Concerning children with disabilities, new language was added throughout the bill to improve collaboration and strengthen the provision of IDEA services. There are minor differences between the House and Senate bills. The Senate bill more broadly expands eligibility and includes a new state incentive program. The next step is a conference committee to work out differences. The Head Start program has been up for reauthorization since 2003 but stalled over partisan debate concerning an amendment on religious hiring. This controversial issue was not included in the House and Senate bills passed this Congress.


Medicaid Rehabilitation Services Option

AUCD signed on to a Consortium of Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) letter to Finance Committee Chairman Baucus (D-MT). The letter asks for Baucus to support a 1-year moratorium prohibiting CMS from issuing new rules on the Medicaid rehabilitative services option and certain school-based services. The new regulations would cut $5.9 billion from Medicaid by: a) restricting the type of community-based services typically provided to people with disabilities through the rehabilitative services option, and b) eliminating certain school-based services provided to children with mental and physical disabilities. Over 40 states use the rehabilitative services option to finance an array of critical community-based services for persons with disabilities, including individuals with developmental disabilities, intellectual disabilities, and serious mental illnesses. These services are essential to reducing physical and mental disabilities as well as to maintain the health and daily functioning of people with disabilities in the community. The National Governors Association also opposes these cuts. CCD is hopeful that Senator Salazar (D-CO) will offer an amendment on the moratorium during SCHIP reauthorization.

Crime Victims with Disabilities Act

Peggy O'Neil (VA UCEDD) and Beverly Franz (PA UCEDD) joined AUCD staff last week in a meeting with staff of Senator Biden (D-DE) chair of the Judiciary Committee to provide input into draft legislation regarding crime victims with disabilities. Senator Biden plans to introduce the Crime Victims with Disabilities Act in mid-July. The bill would provide collaboration grants to states to assist in prosecuting crimes and providing services to crime victims with disabilities. In addition, the bill would mandate the U.S. Dept. of Justice to collect information on crime victims with disabilities as mandated by the 1998 Crime Victims with Disabilities Awareness Act.

FEMA Disability Coordinator

Last week it was announced that Cindy Lou Daniel was selected to fill the position of FEMA Disability Coordinator. She has worked on emergency preparedness issues with the National Organization on Disabilities and developed a disability training curriculum with the American Red Cross. She has also worked for the US Department of Agriculture's Forest Service and served on the Homeland Security National Task Force on Emergency Planning. This position was the result of legislation advocated by AUCD and signed into law last year . In addition, Hillary Styron from NOD was appointed to the National Advisory Committee for FEMA.