AUCD Legislative News In Brief

August 26, 2013

AUCD Legislative News In Brief
  August 26, 2013   |  Vol. XIII, Issue 34
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Congressional Schedule

Congress remains in recess, returning September 9.


Congressional Quarterly reported today that a "grand bargain" should not be expected early this Fall and that the President may stay out of the negotiations, leaving it up to House Speaker John Boehner and Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid to make a deal. With the October 1, 2013 new fiscal year looming, a short term (2-3 months) continuing resolution (CR) is expected at the current level of $988 billion (FY 2013 level after sequestration).  No further details about the CR are available. Some House Members are demanding that the CR contain a prohibition on funding for the Affordable Care Act. CQ's sources also say Republican leaders would prefer to delay a fight over the health care law until later in the fall, when the need for new federal borrowing authority is likely to arise and may come around the same time as the expiration of the CR.

AUCD staff, along with other advocates, met with staff of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) today to discuss funding issues related to the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities within CDC.  Advocates discussed the value of the Center and its individual programs; the importance of the Center to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act; and the impact of sequestration on Center programs, among other things. 

AUCD Announces New Executive Director Andy Imparato

AUCD is pleased to announce that Andrew J. Imparato has been selected as the next Executive Director of the Association. Mr. Imparato succeeds George Jesien who will be retiring after successfully leading the organization for the past fourteen years. He will begin on September 30.  Mr. Imparato currently works as senior disability counsel for Sen. Tom Harkin (IA) who chairs the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee. In 2012, AUCD's Legislative Affairs Committee nominated Imparato to receive the Gold Star Award. The Gold Star Award is presented to a Capitol Hill staffer who exemplifies a true partnership in crafting strong public policy in support of people with disabilities and their families.  Read more about Mr. Imparato's history on AUCD's website.


Last week the Department of Education issued guidance to all public schools stating that "bullying of a student with a disability that result in the student not receiving meaningful educational benefit constitutes a denial of a free appropriate public education (FAPE) under the IDEA and must be remedied." The guidance provides specific strategies that schools can implement, including convening an IEP team to determine if a student's needs have changed. The guidance also makes clear that placement in a more restrictive setting to avoid bullying is not an acceptable remedy.

Rehabilitation Services Administration

Earlier this month the Senate confirmed Janet LaBreck as the new commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration. Ms. Labreck was most recently the Commissioner of the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB), a post she held since 2007. She had been with the MCB since 1985, serving as an Independent Living Coordinator, Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, and Regional Director of Central Massachusetts. She is also an Adjunct Professor at Assumption College where teaches courses in rehabilitation.

Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

The Facebook page supporting the Disability Treaty has gained over 1,800 likes in its short life. It now includes talking points in English and Spanish and short animated videos explaining the treaty and arguments for its ratification. The page is also a place to share stories, feedback from Senate contacts, talking points and other resources.  Today, AUCD's most recent intern, Emily Ladau, shared her story about why she supports the CRPD. If you've recently met with your Senator or his or her staff, take a moment to tell us about it on the page.

Health Reform Implementation Workgroup call

The next conference call for the health reform implementation workgroup will focus on UCEDDs serving as Health Insurance Navigators and feature discussion from leaders of the two UCEDDs - the North Dakota Center for Persons with Disabilities and the Arkansas Partners for Inclusive Communities - awarded navigator grants. Navigators are the flagship consumer assistance program envisioned by the Affordable Care Act and operate through the Health Insurance Marketplaces. Awardees for Federally-Facilitated and State-Partnership Exchanges were announced August 15. Navigators for State-Based Exchanges will be awarded and announced by the states. The Health Reform Implementation Workgroup is open to network members who are participating or interested in implementation of the Affordable Care Act at the state level. For more information, contact Rachel Patterson.                                                                                                                  

50th Anniversary of the March on WashingtonJustice for all

Several AUCD staff joined the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington on Saturday to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March for Jobs and Justice.  Among the many eloquent speakers was Attorney General Eric Holder who said "And our focus has broadened to include the cause of women, of Latinos, of Asian Americans, of lesbians, of gays, of people with disabilities, and of countless others across this country who still yearn for equality, opportunity, and fair treatment."  The event culminates this Wednesday when President Obama will speak on the very spot where Dr. King delivered his "I have a dream" speech.


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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