Disability Policy News In Brief

May 14, 2018

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May 14, 2018   |   Vol. XV, Issue 161
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Budget and Appropriations

On May 8, the White House submitted a rescission package to Congress requesting they rescind $15.4 billion in budget authority (see background on Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974, which is being used for the recession proposal). Below are some of the 38 rescissions that may impact state and territorial public health programs. For more detailed information, view the entire rescission proposal here.

  • Children's Health Insurance Fund: $5,149,512,000.
  • Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation: $800,000,000
  • Child Enrollment Contingency Fund: $1,865,000,000
  • Training and Employment Services: $22,913,265
  • Public and Indian Housing Programs: $41,005,630
  • Rural Investment Programs: $499,507,921
  • Flood Prevention Operations: $157,482,457
  • Rental Assistance Program: $40,000,000

While it is unlikely that Congress will act on this package, AUCD will continue to follow developments.

Health Care

Autism CARES Act Update

Given the upcoming reauthorization of the Autism CARES Act, many of the Developmental Behavioral Pediatric (DBP) Fellowships are educating Congress about their role. The Autism CARES Act included funding for ten DBP programs, which are workforce training programs under Maternal & Child Health. There are many talking points that emphasize the need for more DBPs, for example: DBPs have the longest wait lists nationally of any subspecialty of pediatrics, and currently there are only 600 board certified DBPs in the US (several states have 0-1; many of whom are retiring). In addition, there are only 1400 child neurologists and 5000 child psychiatrists (most child psychiatrists do not see young children at the age when we would like to diagnose Autism).

  • Action Item: Use these talking points to educate your Members of Congress on the important role that DBPs play in the lives of infants and children with disabilities.

Autism Caucus Update

As of May 4, the following Members have joined: Allen (GA), Carbajal (CA), Comstock (VA), Correa (CA), Crist (FL) Duncan (SC), Heck (IL), Krishnamoorthi (IL), Miller (FL), Moulton (MA), Norton (DC), Payne (NJ), Pocan (WI), Raskin (MD) and Sinema (AZ).


Discipline Disparities Update

Today is the deadline for comments on regulations addressing significant disproportionality - Assistance to States for the Education of Children With Disabilities; Preschool Grants for Children With Disabilities. See previous In Brief for background and watch this two-minute explainer on the disproportionality.

  • Action item: You can submit individual or organizational comments on the Federal Register regarding the proposal to postpone by two years the compliance date for implementing efforts to correct disparate treatment of students of color with disability. You can also send a copy of your comments to your congressional delegation.

School Choice Bill in Defense Bill Update

A proposal to create Education Savings Accounts for military families using federal Impact Aid dollars (see March 12th edition of In Brief for background) may be offered as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act when it is brought to the House for a full vote. The federal Impact Aid program has long had bipartisan support; however, one hurdle the bill faces is the likely need for a jurisdictional waiver from the House Education and the Workforce Committee chaired by Representative Foxx (R-NC) - both Foxx and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos declined to publicly support Banks' proposal. The National Association of Federally Impacted Schools, which has led the opposition to the bill, has argued the proposal would strip public schools of funding that benefits all students.

  • Action Item: Educate your Members on the House Armed Services Committee about the concerns with loss of Impact Aid funding to districts as well as the challenges presented to students with disabilities in accessing needed support in settings that fall outside the protection of IDEA.

Higher Education Act Reauthorization Update

The House version of the Higher Education reauthorization bill known as PROSPER (HR 4508) is now expected to be brought to the floor for a vote in June 2018. The bill passed out of the Education and the Workforce Committee in December along party lines. Over 1000 groups, including AUCD, oppose the bill which; while it preserves the TPSID program on inclusive higher education for students with intellectual disabilities, it does away with many personnel preparation and loan forgiveness programs, including for special education, as well as other disability focused programs. See previous In Brief for more background.

  • Action item: Educate your Representatives on the importance of inclusive postsecondary education and TPSID programs for students with disabilities as well as the need for personnel preparation and loan forgiveness programs.
  • Resources: AUCD's December letter provides additional talking pointsGeneral info. Organizations opposing HR 4508. If you have any questions please contact Denise Rozell.

Regulatory Agenda

The Office of Management and Budget published the regulatory agenda for Spring 2018. Please use this list to identify what rules are being proposed, what stage they are in, and to allow for extra time to prepare comments on issues that are important to your work and the communities you serve.

Money Follows the Person (MFP) Update

New Cosponsors

The EMPOWER Care Act (aka MFP reauthorization) continues to gain cosponsors from both democrats and republicans because of your advocacy. See HR.5306 cosponsors here and S.2227 cosponsors here.

  • Action Item: If your Member is on the list, please thank them for their support. If they are not, please continue to educate them on the importance of MFP in your state with this toolkit and pre-crated email.


Civil Rights

The National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA), Texas Appleseed, and Texas Low Income Housing Information Service (Texas Housers) asked a federal court in Washington DC, to order the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to reinstate a federal requirement that local and state governments address segregated housing patterns as a condition of receiving HUD funding. The complaint alleges that HUD unlawfully suspended the requirement in January 2018, effectively removing civil rights oversight of as much as $5.5 billion per year until 2024 or later for almost 1,000 jurisdictions. In its place, HUD proposes that funding recipients revert to a fair housing planning process, which HUD itself and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) have found is ineffective. Read the full complaint here.

Tuesdays with Liz: Disability Policy for All

Today we look back on an interview with Meg Grigal (Co-Director of Think College), who spoke about the importance of inclusive postsecondary education and TPSID programs for students with disabilities.

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

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