Disability Policy News In Brief

April 23, 2018

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April 23, 2018   |   Vol. XV, Issue 158
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Budget & Appropriations

On April 18, White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney stated that a rescission package that could cut as much as $60 billion from the $1.3 trillion omnibus (H.R. 1625), could be introduced in the "next couple of weeks," with aims of a House floor vote before July. Mulvaney told a House Appropriations panel that the proposal could target unused funding in existing accounts, as well as money the White House disputes in the $1.3 trillion omnibus. These comments were made during a hearing related to FY19 funding.

Action Item: The most effective way to protect FY 18 funds is to continue educating and advocating around LEND and UCEDD funding for FY19. Your messaging to the Senate around FY19 will serve to reinforce the importance of the FY18 funding and is a clear reminder to not adjust the FY18 agreement. Please use the AUCD Action Center to send an email (which you can personalize) to your Members of Congress advocating and/or educating about the importance of LEND, and advocating and/or educating about the importance of UCEDD.

Autism Cares

The Autism CARES Act of 2014 will expire if it is not reauthorized by September 30, 2019.  The law has helped to expand research and coordination at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), increased public awareness and surveillance at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and expanded the interdisciplinary and inter-professional training of health professionals to identify and support children and youth with ASD and their families through programs of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), such as LEND. AUCD is working with legislative champions as it appears that Congress will take up the reauthorization process this session.

Action item: now is the time to reach out to your congressional delegation and educate them on the work you do as related to Autism CARES (LEND, state plans, training of developmental behavior pediatricians, lifespan services and supports, etc.). Additionally, you are encouraged to invite members of your delegation to join the autism caucus; AUCD created a new tool to support your efforts to connect your congressional delegation to the Autism Caucus.

Health Care


The Senate HELP Committee is set to vote on The Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018 (S. 2680) on April 24. That bill would boost prescription drug monitoring program data-sharing, ease some privacy requirements, increase data collection including data around neonatal abstinence syndrome, and create a pilot program related to trauma informed practices for children and families.

Action item: share your voice and expertise from your network with committee members.

Food Security

On April 18, the House Agriculture Committee advanced the  farm bill along party lines by a vote of 26-20. Historically a bipartisan effort, division this year reflects concerns about proposed SNAP (aka food stamp) changes. Public comments from leadership of the Senate Agriculture committee reflects a desire to work for a middle ground. Senator Debbie Stabenow said, "Agriculture has always been the place that was bipartisan."

Action item: use this pre-crafted letter (that can be personalized) to continue to educate your congressional delegation about the importance of food security for people with disabilities and low-income Americans.  


Higher Ed Reauthorization - PROSPER Act (HR 4508)

December 2017 the House Education and Workforce Committee passed its version of the Higher Ed Reauthorization bill called Promoting Real Opportunity, Success, and Prosperity through Education Reform Act (PROSPER), which would eliminate funding for all federal inclusive higher education programs (except TIPSIDs). In response to this, AUCD submitted two letters providing recommendations specifically addressing inclusive postsecondary education and TPSID programs (see previous In Brief). As of April 19, there has been discussion of bringing this bill to the Full House for a final vote. 

Action item: Educate your Representatives on the importance of inclusive postsecondary education and TPSID programs for students with disabilities. AUCD's December letter provides additional talking points.  If you have any questions please contact Denise Rozell.

Family First Prevention Services Act

AUCD signed onto a letter along with the Children's Defense Fund thanking Congressional leaders for passage of the bipartisan and historic Family First Prevention Services Act (HR 253). AUCD was one of the more than 400 organizations that joined the 2016 sign-on letter supporting Family First (click here for a copy of that letter).


April 19, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar announced that James Parker (CEO of health plan MDwise) will serve as Senior Advisor to the Secretary for Health Reform and Director of the Office of Health Reform at HHS. Mr. Parker will lead the initiative to address the cost and availability of health insurance. Parker will also direct HHS' Office of Health Reform, a division originally created in 2009 to implement Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) that was quietly pared-back last fall.


Senate Employment

Liz Weintraub of AUCD, who has been working in Senator Casey's office, shared a tool from the Senate Democratic Diversity office that streamlines the employment process for diverse candidates including people with disabilities. The tool is a resume bank where a candidate can upload their resume to be considered for positions in the Senate. Please visit Senate Diversity Initiative Resume Bank for more information.

2018 Disability Policy Seminar

We hope you enjoyed the AUCD Trainee Summit, please be sure to complete your evaluation, and we look forward to hearing about your experience and participation during the remaining days of Disability Policy Seminar (April 23-25). Not coming? You can still participate:

If you have any questions regarding hill visits please contact Director of Public Policy, Rylin Rodgers.

Tuesdays with Liz: Disability Policy for All

The Tuesdays with Liz series is taking a break while Liz Weintraub is on detail working with the Senate Aging Committee. Tuesdays with Liz will return to a regular taping schedule and new episodes will air in the late Spring when Liz returns to AUCD. Until then, we will be highlighting some of our favorite Tuesdays with Liz episodes from this past year here and on social media at @AUCDnews.

This week we are revisiting Liz's interview with Sara Luterman, Founder and Editor of NOS Magazine, who spoke about the importance of inclusion in the workplace, particularly when it comes to including people with autism.


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

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

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

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