AUCD Legislative News In Brief

October 25, 2010

AUCD Legislative News In Brief
  October 25, 2010   |  Vol. X, Issue 43
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Congressional Schedule
Congress is on recess until after the mid-term elections when it will reconvene for a "lame duck" session.

The U.S. Department of Justice entered into a settlement agreement which resolves the Civil Rights Division's complaint against the State of Georgia regarding the State's failure to serve individuals with developmental disabilities and mental illness in the most integrated setting appropriate to those individuals' needs. Under the Agreement, Georgia will cease all admissions of individuals with developmental disabilities to their State Hospitals by July 1, 2011. Georgia will also transition all individuals with developmental disabilities in the State Hospitals from the Hospitals to community settings and create 1150 home and community-based waivers for individuals with developmental disabilities by July 1, 2015: 750 waivers to help transition individuals from the State Hospitals to community settings, and 400 waivers to help prevent the institutionalization of those individuals currently living in the community.  AUCD participated on an informational call regarding the agreement, during which Department of Justice officials stated that this settlement will be regarded as a template or precedent for other states.  See the entire agreement and summary on AUCD's policy site.

Health Care Implementation
AUCD signed onto a disability coalition letter to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in response to the department's request for public input in the development of a National Health Care Quality Strategy and Plan. The Affordable Health Act requires that people with disabilities be included in health quality initiatives. The coalition letter supports the plan, while urging HHS and AHRQ (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality) to add disability specific goals and considerations. This letter covers the cross-disability community and those with chronic medical conditions.

Legislative Affairs at the AUCD Annual Meeting
Mark your calendars for legislative affairs activities at the upcoming Annual Meeting! The Legislative Affairs Committee will meet on Sunday, October 31.  All AUCD members are welcome.  Immediately thereafter, legislative affairs staff will brief the network on the latest federal legislative activities from 4:45 - 6:00. On Tuesday, November 2, don't miss the Federal Plenary entitled "Meet the Administration".  This is your opportunity to hear from and interact with members of the Obama Administration.  Confirmed panelists include: Kareem Dale, the White House; Sharon Lewis, ADD/HHS; Alexa Posny and Lynnae Ruttledge, ED; and Samuel Bagenstos, DOJ.

November 2 is Election Day!
All House seats and a third of the Senate seats are up for election on November 2.  If you are coming to AUCD's annual meeting, please don't forget to vote early by absentee ballot or on site in one of the 29 early voting states.  For information about absentee voting and voting dates in your state, visit
AUCD's Action Center, scroll down to Election and Candidates, then select your state.  Those who represent us in Congress can have a huge impact on the issues we care about.  Use our Action Center to find out how your elected officials voted on AUCD's legislative priorities by simply typing in your zip code.

Bring Your Valentine to the Disability Policy Seminar: Save the Date!
AUCD participated in the first program planning meeting of the 2011 Disability Policy Seminar.  AUCD hosts the meeting along with The Arc, UCP, AAIDD, AAIDD, NACDD and SABE.  The Seminar takes place February 14-16 (bring your Valentine!) at the Grand Hyatt in Washington, DC.  The Seminar provides a great opportunity for AUCD network to hear directly from Hill staff and Administration officials about the important legislative issues in the new Congress.  It will also be an optimal time, following the mid-term elections, to educate new Members of Congress and create new champions on disability issues.

New Exec at NCD!
AUCD's legislative affairs department would like to congratulate Aaron Bishop, a former AUCD staffer and network trainee, who was just selected as the new executive director of the National Council on Disability (NCD) beginning on November 15. NCD is an independent federal agency charged with advising the President, Congress, and other federal officials and entities on all policies, programs, practices and procedures affecting people with disabilities.  Aaron currently works on Capitol Hill for Sen. Mike Enzi (WY), ranking minority member of the HELP Committee.  In that capacity, Aaron has been instrumental in helping to shape the Affordable Care Act, Rosa's Law, Combating Autism Act, and numerous bills that impact the AUCD network and people with disabilities.  He has simultaneously taken on the new position as father to his two week old daughter, Ava.  Congratulations on both major accomplishments, Aaron (and Ylla)!

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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