AUCD Legislative News In Brief

November 1, 2010

AUCD Legislative News In Brief
  November 1, 2010   |  Vol. X, Issue 44
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November 2 is Election Day!
All House seats and a third of the Senate seats are up for election on November 2 - please don't forget to vote!  Those who represent us in Congress can have a huge impact on the issues we care about.  Use
AUCD's Action Center to find out how your elected officials voted on AUCD's legislative priorities by simply typing in your zip code.

Legislative Affairs at the AUCD Annual Meeting
AUCD's Annual Meeting is finally here! The Legislative Affairs Committee met on Sunday, October 31, and the legislative affairs staff briefed the network on the latest federal legislative activities.  Tomorrow will feature a federal plenary which will provide attendees the opportunity to hear from and interact with key Administration officials that oversee most federal disability programs.

AUCD signed onto two letters urging both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees to provide the highest funding increases in FY 2011 for public health agencies including the National Institutes of Health, the Health Resources and Services Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the Food and Drug Administration, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and the Indian Health Service. The CDC coalition letter letter garnered support from 101 national organizations; the Coalition for Health Funding letter garnered 360 sign-ons.    

AUCD signed onto a letter from the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities urging the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to adopt a number of consumer rights protections as it considers a request from the State of California for a Section 1115 Medicaid waiver that would require the state to utilize mandatory managed care for seniors and people with disabilities.  The letter requests that CMS condition its approval of the waiver upon those protections to ensure that the state can adequately meet the needs of these two populations. The disability community is concerned that other states across the country will file similar applications to cut health care costs in these tough economic times.  States should implement such changes with extreme caution and sufficient safeguards to ensure that the changes do not hinder access to Medicaid benefits.

On Tuesday, the Department of Education issued guidance to support educators in combating bullying in schools by clarifying when student bullying may violate federal education anti-discrimination laws.  The guidance came in the form of a "Dear Colleague" letter sent to schools, colleges and universities.  It explains educators' legal obligations to protect students from student-on-student racial and national origin harassment, sexual and gender-based harassment, and disability harassment. The White House also announced that it will host a conference early next year to raise awareness and focus on tools that can be used to prevent bullying and harassment. The Department plans to hold technical assistance workshops around the country in early 2011 to help educators better understand their obligations and the resources available to them.

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.

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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