AUCD Legislative News In Brief

October 11, 2010

AUCD Legislative News In Brief
  October 11, 2010   |  Vol. X, Issue 41
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Budget & Appropriations
Congress is in recess until after the mid-term elections.  The plan is to return November 15 to finish the FY 2011 funding bills and other priority legislation.  It is unclear at this point how much business will be accomplished in the lame duck.  Before recessing, Congress passed a continuing resolution (CR) through December 3 to fund most agency programs at their fiscal 2010 levels.

The Congressional Budget Office announced Thursday that the the budget deficit for FY10 had reached approximately $1.3 trillion, or 8.9 percent of the gross domestic product -- the second highest shortfall as a share of the economy since 1945.

President Signs Rosa's Law and Accessible Technology Bill
AUCD's Executive Director, George Jesien, had the opportunity to witness President Obama sign
the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (S. 3304) into law and celebrate the earlier signing of Rosa's Law (P.L. 111-256).  Rosa's law will replace the terms "mental retardation" and "mentally retarded" with "intellectual disability" and "individual with an intellectual disability" in specific federal laws.  The 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act will require all modern communications technologies to be accessible to people with hearing and vision disabilities, and it also requires that emergency broadcast information be accessible to people with visual and cognitive disabilities.

Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment
AUCD was invited to meet with Senate HELP Committee staff last week to review a bill introduced by Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT), to reauthorize the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA).  The Committee plans to mark up the CAPTA Reauthorization Act of 2010 (S. 3817) on November 17.  AUCD provided input into the bill to further strengthen primary prevention activities and to collect data on the nexus between child abuse and disabilities.  AUCD also signed onto a letter from the National Child Abuse Coalition to appropriators urging them to retain the $10 million in new funding for CAPTA discretionary spending proposed by the Obama Administration for preventive services.

Health Reform
On September 30, the Government Accountability Office
announced the appointment of 15 members to the new National Health Care Workforce Commission as required by the Affordable Care Act.  The Commission was created to serve as a national resource for Congress, the President, and states and localities; communicate and coordinate with federal departments; develop and commission evaluations of education and training activities; identify barriers to improved coordination at the federal, state, and local levels and recommend ways to address them; and to encourage innovations that address population needs, changing technology, and other environmental factors. 

As reported in the
September 27th In Brief, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) along with Sens. Chambliss (R- GA), Coburn (R-OK), Cornyn (R-TX), and McCain (R-AZ) introduced the Long-Term Care Bailout Prevention Act (S. 3829), a bill to repeal the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports Act (CLASS Act).  The bill is now available here.  The CLASS Act, passed as part of the Affordable Care Act, creates a new national long-term care insurance program that will help people meet their long-term care needs while remaining independent and maintaining personal assets.  AUCD strongly opposes any attempt to repeal the CLASS Act.

On September 29, the House of Representatives Housing and Community Opportunity Subcommittee held a hearing on the
Inclusive Home Design Act of 2009.  The Act requires that newly constructed, federally assisted single family houses and town houses include at least one level of accessibility features for persons with disabilities such as an accessible entrance, accessible interior doors, accessible environmental controls, and accessible habitable space and bathrooms.  Witnesses included Eleanor Smith, Director at Concrete Change, Kelly Buckland, Executive Director at the National Council on Independent Living, and Janet Smith, Associate Professor and Co-Director of the Nathalie P. Voorhees Center for Neighborhood and Community Improvement at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  You can view the hearing in its entirety here. 

Don't forget to vote!
If you are coming to AUCD's annual meeting, please don't forget to vote early by absentee ballot or on site in early voting states.  For information about the races in your state and important voting dates, visit
AUCD's online Election Center. Those who represent us in Congress can have a huge impact on the issues we care about.  Find out how your elected officials voted on AUCD's legislative priorities by simply typing in your zip code in AUCD's Action Center.

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


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