AUCD Legislative News In Brief

August 19, 2013

AUCD Legislative News In Brief
  August 19, 2013   |  Vol. XIII, Issue 33
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Congressional Schedule

Congress remains in recess, returning September 9.


Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Committee Nita Lowey (D-NY) has released a report on the impact of the House Budget Resolution (as prepared by Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan) and the appropriations bills that have been proposed in the House to implement that budget. The proposal would limit total FY 2014 funding to the sequester level but push all cuts away from defense and on to domestic programs. While a Labor-HHS-Education bill has not been released the report makes estimates based on the allocation. Estimates include $6.7 billion cut to the National Institutes of Health, $2.8 billion cut from Special Education, $1.3 billion cut to CDC

Long-Term Care Commission Comments

Last week, AUCD submitted comments to the Long-Term Care Commission. The Commission was created in the American Tax Payer Relief Act of 2012 - the "fiscal cliff" deal that repealed the CLASS Act (see January 7 In Brief). More information is available at, including video of past hearings, commission members, and future hearing dates. The commission is charged with developing recommendations to address the need for long-term services and supports in the US by September 12, with a final report due September 30. Those interested in long-term services and supports and people with disabilities are strongly encouraged to submit comments through the commission website as soon as possible. The last public hearing will be August 20.

Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Last week, AUCD staff helped create a new Facebook page to build support and spread the word about the ratification of the Disability Treaty. In just 10 days, the page already has over 1,500 likes. The page includes information on advocating for the treaty and blog posts from Patricia Morrissey, former Commissioner of the then Administration on Developmental Disabilities and Kim Musheno, AUCD Director of Legislative Affairs. Visit the page and click "Like" for regular updates on the treaty via Facebook.

President Obama and his administration have also increased support for the treaty. The President urged the Senate to ratify the treaty in a speech at the Disabled American Veterans convention and Secretary of State John Kerry posted a video in the State Department website called "The Disabilities Treaty - It's Time for Action." The President said in his speech, "We're going to keep fighting for that Treaty because the United States has always been a leader for the rights of the disabled...It's the right thing to do. We need to get it done."

Student Loan Interest Rates

On August 9, President Obama signed the Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act, lowering interest rates on Stafford and PLUS student loans. Because of sunsets in previous legislation, rates for new loans were set to rise this summer to 6.8% for all Stafford loans taken by undergraduate and graduate students and 7.9% for PLUS loans taken by graduate students and parents. The law will tie interest rates to market interest rates (based on a 10-year Treasury Note) with a cap if the market rates rise too high. Rates for next year will be 3.86% for undergraduate Stafford loans, 5.41% for graduate Stafford loans, and 6.41% for PLUS loans. Rates will be locked in for the life of the loan. The rates also apply retroactively to loans issued after the July 1 deadline

Long-Term Services and Supports

The President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities 2012 Report to the President on the topic of Managed Long-Term Services and Supports has been translated into Spanish, courtesy of the Puerto Rico UCEDD, the Instituto de Deficiencias en el Desarrollo. The report is also available in English. The report provides background on managed care, its introduction into long-term services and supports, and provides recommendations to the President on how to better serve people with intellectual disabilities in the implementation of managed care. 

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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