AUCD Legislative News In Brief

May 11, 2009

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Budget and Appropriations

The President released his detailed budget proposal for FY 2010 on May 7th.  The budget is very tight with $17 billion in proposed budget cuts and proposals to eliminate 121 programs.  Unfortunately, the President proposes to level-fund the UCEDDs and other DD Act programs.  However, there are increases for CDC, NIH, and HRSA that would benefit our network programs.  The HRSA Autism and other DD programs that provides funding for the LENDS would get a $6 million increase, $1 million more than the $48 million authorized for those programs.  The IDDRCs would receive a $19 million increase over FY 09 and the CDC Birth Defects and DD Center would receive a $4 million increase over FY 09.  AUCD Staff is currently analyzing the details of the budget and will send out a more detailed summary this week with a special edition of In Brief.

HHS Office of Health Reform Personnel

Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius announced the establishment of the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Health Reform. This Office will spearhead the Department's efforts to pass urgently needed health care reform and coordinate closely with the White House Office of Health Reform.  Both offices were created by an April 8th Executive Order to help deliver on one of President Obama's top priorities.  Additional information regarding specific appointments can be found on the HHS website.

Fiscal 2010 Appropriations

The Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee (Chairman Obey, D-Wis.) of the House Appropriations Committee and its Senate counterpart (Chairman Harkin, D-Iowa) will both hold hearings on fiscal 2010 appropriations for programs under its jurisdiction this week. 

Health Care Reform and Long-Term Services and Supports

The Senate HELP and Finance Committees are working towards having health care reform legislation introduced in the coming weeks.  The Senate HELP Committee plans to introduce legislation on May 22nd.  The Senate Finance Committee will hold the third of three scheduled round tables on health care reform this week.  Several witnesses mentioned the need for the inclusion of long term care in health reform such as, AARP President Jennie Chin Hansen.  Both the Senate HELP and Finance committees plan to mark up bills in June with a goal of passage of a unified bill by the August recess.  Aging and disability organizations are collaborating together on a national call-in day on long-term services and supports this Wednesday, May 13th   A previous call-in day in March generated over 5,000 calls to Senate offices.  Advocates hope to double this amount of calls.  An Action Alert with call in information will go out to the network.

Judicial Appointments

President Obama will fill his first high court vacancy with the retirement of Justice David H. Souter from the Supreme Court.  The President in consulting with Vice President Biden due to his experience as a former head of the Senate Judiciary Committee which oversaw Supreme Court confirmation hearings.  Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is leading the search, which is being run through the White House counsel's office.

AUCD Stimulus Funding Webinar

AUCD is sponsoring a stimulus webinar that will focus on recovery act funds that have been allocated to federal agencies as well as the funding opportunities for states to access resources for project and grant opportunities.  A brief discussion period will follow the short informational presentations that will help link states to funding sources as well as effective methods for securing funding for important priorities.  Speakers include representatives from the US Department of Education as well as the Association for University Centers on Disabilities.  The webinar will take place on Friday May 15th 3:00-4:30 pm EST webinar registration and information is posted on the AUCD website under Events.

For copies of this and previous issues of Legislative News In Brief please visit the Public Policy Page of the AUCD website: