AUCD Legislative News In Brief

May 28, 2013

AUCD Legislative News In Brief
  May 28, 2013   |  Vol. XIII, Issue 21
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Congressional Schedule

The House and Senate are both in recess this week and will return June 3. AUCD emailed a Recess Action Alert on Friday afternoon highlighting three issues that are important for your members to hear about when they are home on recess: Budget/Appropriations, the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, and the Keeping All Students Safe Act of 2013.   For more issues to discuss with your Members over the recess, please see AUCD's Action Center.  For more information and talking points on how to discuss sequestration and other budget cuts, see the NDD United advocacy toolkit.

What is Sequestration? How will it impact me?

Want to know more about sequestration and how it may impact health and human services programs?  The NDD United, a national coalition of 3,200 organizations (including AUCD) working to stop budget cuts to core government functions just released a video that advocates can use to educate policymakers, the press, and the public about the disproportionate cuts non-defense discretionary programs -  including employment and training, research, public health, education, public safety, housing, social services, infrastructure, and environmental protection - have taken as a result of deficit reduction efforts and how these cuts will impact our daily lives.


Older Americans Act

On Thursday, May 23, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Chairman of the Senate HELP Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging, introduced legislation to reauthorize the Older Americans Act (OAA), the Older Americans Act Amendments of 2013 (S. 1028).  Sen. Sander's held an Older American's Summit where he announced the introduction of the bill and discussed issues important to older Americans. The CCD Developmental Disabilities, Autism and Family Support Task Force sent a letter supporting the bill, including changes to the National Family Caregiver Support Program that would ensure that older adults caring a person with a developmental disability will be eligible for services. Sen. Sander's website contains a fact sheet  and text of the bill. An archived video of Sen. Sanders making a statement upon introduction is available here. The next step is for the full committee to take up the bill.  There is currently no companion bill in the House.


The Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities Housing Task Force and the Technical Assistance Collaborative have release their yearly report on the unaffordability of housing for people with disabilities on Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Priced Out 2012 calculates the difference between what an individual receiving SSI can reasonably afford to pay for housing costs and the average cost of modest housing units. Among the key findings are that 1) People with disabilities who rely on SSI continue to be among the nation's poorest citizens. In 2012, the national average monthly SSI payment for a single individual was only $726 - equal to only 19.2% of the national median income and almost 30% below the 2012 federal poverty level of $11,170; and 2) as a national average, a person receiving SSI needed to pay 104% of their monthly income in order to rent a modest one-bedroom unit.  For more information, see the fact sheet and press release accompanying the report.


The Department of Education has released a notice of funding opportunity for the Promoting Readiness of Minors on Supplemental Security Income (PROMISE) program for FY2013 awards. PROMISE is a joint initiative of the Social Security Administration and Departments of Education, Labor, and Health and Human Services intended improve outcomes for children on SSI. PROMISE will fund states to implement model demonstration projects to improve provision and  coordination of services and supports to improve outcomes including graduating high school, college and career readiness, completing post-secondary education or job training, obtaining competitive employment, and achieving long-term reductions in the recipients' reliance on SSI. More information is available at


Also, related to education, the House Education and Workforce Committee held a hearing last week on the President's FY 2014 Budget proposals for the Department of Education.  Secretary Arne Duncan was the only witness to testify.  During the hearing, Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN) criticized the Obama Administration for requesting more money for the Department, including $3.1 billion for a new universal preschool program.  At the same time, Rep. Kline also criticized the Administration for not fully funding IDEA (special education state grants).  Secretary Duncan replied that the House budget allocation, recently released, would not support any additional funding for IDEA.  The archived video and testimony are on the Committee's website.

Long-Term Services and Supports

The President's Committee on People with Intellectual Disabilities (PCPID) has released their 2012 Report to the President on the topic of Managed Long-Term Services and Supports (MLTSS). The report provides background information on MLTSS and its introduction into the Medicaid program. The report is intended to provide the President and Secretary of Health and Human Services recommendations on the implementation of MLTSS. The report also aims to assist people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, their families and advocates to understand the changes coming to the Medicaid program and ways to get involved. To this end, the full report is accompanied by a much shorter accessible summary intended to be more understandable to self-advocates, family members, or others new to the subject.

Tax Reform

Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Dave Camp (R-MI), and Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Max Baucus (D-MT), continue to work together to build momentum for bicameral, bipartisan tax reform. They have launched and a twitter account @simplertaxes to engage with the public on what is important to them in tax reform. The website explains what has already been undertaken in the process towards tax reform and asks for stories or suggestions from the public on what path the chairmen should take in reforming our tax code. Tax and revenue policies should support adequate funding for services and supports that help people live and work in the community. People with developmental disabilities and their families are encouraged to participate in this discussion.  

For more policy news, follow Kim and Rachel on Twitter at @kmusheno and @racheljpat

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

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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