Disability Policy News In Brief

September 10, 2018

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September 10, 2018   |   Vol. XV, Issue 178
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Congress

On September 4, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey (R) appointed former Senator Jon Kyl to fill the vacancy left following the death of Senator John McCain two weeks ago. Kyl previously represented Arizona in the Senate alongside McCain from 1994 to 2002. He does not plan to run the next time the seat is up for election.

 

Budget and Appropriations

Congress is planning to pass nine of the 12 annual spending bills in three packages before the end of the fiscal year on September 30. On September 5, Republican leaders met with President Trump and agreed that other FY 2019 funding could come in a continuing resolution lasting through November, leaving time for negotiations in the lame-duck period (the time between the election and the end of this Congress).

Action Step:

 

 

 

Health Care

Money Follows the Person (MFP)

On September 5, the House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Health held a hearing entitled "Opportunities to Improve Health Care". The hearing included testimony on Money Follows the Person (MFP). It appears that there is a growing path to at least a one-year reauthorization.

Action Step:

 

 

 

Employment

Responsibility and Taxpayer Protection Act

On September 5, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Representative Ro Khanna (D-CA-17), introduced the Responsibility and Taxpayer Protection Act (H.R. 2814/S. 3410), also referred to as the Stop BEZOS Act. The stated goal of the legislation is to "establish a corporate welfare tax on large employers equal to the amount of federal benefits received by their low-wage workers", essentially to incentivize higher wages. AUCD is concerned that unintended consequences of the bill may include discriminatory hiring or lack of hiring of people with disabilities.

Action Step:

 

  • If you live in the districts of any of the bill's cosponsors contact them and educate them about the issues related to employment for people with disabilities. This write up by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities provides details and talking points.

 

 

Civil Rights

Judge Kavanaugh

The Senate Judiciary Committee held hearings on U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation on September 4, 5, 6 and 7. AUCD's Senior Advocacy Specialist Liz Weintraub was a witness to the committee on September 7. View Liz's oral testimony and read her longer written testimony.

Action Steps:

 

  • Every Senator will have a vote, so contacting both your Senators to share your concerns and speaking specifically about the civil rights of people with disabilities is critical. Phone calls and in-person meetings (including in state offices) are the most impactful.
  • Amplify Liz's testimony by sharing it and calling your Senators about it.

 

AUCD has two emails you can send your Senators:

 

  • One that educates Senators about the concerning aspects of Judge Kavanaugh's record. You can find it here.
  • One that asks Senators to oppose the nomination based on Judge Kavanaugh's record. You can find it here.

 

 

Education

Strength in Diversity Act

Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Representative Marcia Fudge (D-OH-11) are introducing the Strength in Diversity Act (S. 3413/H.R. 6722), a bill that would authorize $120 million in grants to increase diversity in schools. The grants could be used to boost local efforts to study diversity and review school district boundaries, among other things.

Action Step:

 

  • Reach out to your Representative and both of your Senators. Use this bill to educate your lawmakers about how diversity impacts students in your community. If you have research or key information related to diversity in the K-12 setting, please share it.

 

 

Tuesdays with Liz: Disability Policy for All

This week, Liz asks Alexander Santana to explain some of the work he does around immigration as part of the Vanderbilt Kennedy UCEDD in Tennesee and the Tennessee Disability Pathfinder. He talks about what leads someone to leave their home country, the implications of family separation at the border, and multilingual resources that are available to immigrants and refugees with disabilities.

To check out the bilingual providers database that Alexander mentions, visit http://caminoseguro.org


 

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

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