AUCD Legislative News In Brief

January 27, 2014

AUCD Legislative News In Brief
  January 27, 2014   |  Vol. XIV, Issue 4
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Congressional Schedule

The House and Senate are both in session this week. The House will hold a short session before the House Republican retreat that runs Wednesday through Friday. Members at the retreat will hear a presentation by Henry Evans, a quadriplegic man who uses robotics to communicate, among other presentations and sessions.


As reported in the January 21 issue of In Brief, the President has signed into law a $1.1 trillion omnibus appropriations bill funding all federal programs. AUCD has updated our preliminary analysis of the bill and will continue to do so as more information becomes available. While federal law requires that the President deliver his budget to Congress on the first Monday in February, the White House has announced that the President will release his budget request for the 2015 fiscal year on March 4.

State of the Union Addresss

On Tuesday, January 28 at 9pm ET the President will deliver his annual address on the State of the Union before a joint session of Congress. The address will air on each of the major broadcast networks, cable news, and at The White House will also host interactive features about the address during the speech. AUCD staff will also be tweeting throughout the speech. For live tweets follow @AUCDNews, @AndyAUCD, @kmusheno, @racheljpat and the hashtags #SOTU and #SOTU4PWDs.

Following the President's speech, Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) will deliver the Republican response. Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers is Chair of the House Republican Conference. Her son, Cole, has Down syndrome, and many in the disability community hope that she will mention disability in her response. Her response will be aired directly after the President's speech and available at

Affordable Care Act

The federal government has released the new poverty level guidelines for 2014. The poverty level for an individual living in the continental United States rose 1.6% to $11,670 for a single person and $23,850 for a family of four. The rates are slightly higher in Alaska and Hawaii. The new guidelines will not affect those currently seeking premium subsidies or Medicaid. Instead, the new rates will take effect for those in the next open enrollment period seeking coverage for 2015.

Disability Treaty

On Tuesday, January 28 the United States International Council on Disability and Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund will host a national conference call on advocacy for the Disability Treaty at 1:00pm ET. On the call, leaders of the movement to ratify the treaty will discuss where the treaty stands now and what you can do to continue advocating for the treaty. For call-in information, please RSVP.

A second call for students and university personnel interested in organizing for ratification on university campuses is scheduled the same day for 4:00pm ET. If you are interested in attending that call as well, please contact [email protected].


An updated version of How Safe is the Schoolhouse? An Analysis of State Seclusion and Restraint Laws and Policies published by our colleagues at the Autism National Committee, has been released. The report has been updated to break out more completely whether a state's restraint and seclusion rules apply to all children or only those with disabilities. It includes changes made through January 12, 2014 to state laws and policies and the next update is planned for the summer of 2014.

CCD Annual Meeting

The Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities held its annual meeting on January 16. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Congresswoman and House leader Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and White House disability community liaison Claudia Gordon addressed the Membership. Senator Harkin, who will retire at the end of this year, thanked CCD for partnering with him on disability legislation and remarked that his 40 years of service in Congress match the 40 years that CCD has been advocating for people with disabilities. He also urged disability advocates to work together to present a united front. Read the rest of Senator Harkin's remarks on the CCD website


From the AUCD legislative staff: 7 Reasons Why You Are Absolutely Required to Educate Policymakers

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For updates from our Executive Director Andy Imparato, follow @AndyAUCD.

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

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