We are heading into the final weeks of the legsialtive session with a proposed state
budget that is supported by The Arc. It remains to be seen if the needed revenue
for this budget wil be voted upon before the end of the Legislative Session on May
Your legislators need to hear from you about supporting:
Continuation of the Income Tax Increase
The Care Campaign and $1.00 per hour for DSP’s
Identify your Illinois State Senator and Representative by clicking on this link. http://www.elections.il.gov/districtlocator/addressfinder.aspx
Today’s featured guest on this Arc Newsletter is none other than Karrie Brown!
Barbara and I will be talking a long weekend to celebrate our Anniversary so you
won’t here from me until next week!
This week’s Capitol Insider from The Arc of the United States follows.
Week of May 12…
Confirmation Hearing on Social Security Advisory Board Nominations
Posted on May 12, 2014Last week, the Senate Finance Committee held a
confirmation hearing on three Social Security Advisory Board (SSAB) nominations
to fill existing vacancies on the 7-member board. The SSAB is an independent,
bipartisan board created by Congress and appointed by the President and
Congress to advise the President, Congress, and the Commissioner of Social
Security on matters related to the Social Security and Supplemental Security
Income programs. Nominees are Henry J. Aaron of the District of Columbia,
Lanhee J. Chen, of California, and Alan L. Cohen, of Virginia. Visit the
Committee website to view testimony and video from the hearing.
Senate Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Labor-HHS-Education Spending
On May 7, the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Labor,
Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies held a hearing
on the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Budget for FY 2015.
The following HHS officials provided testimony – Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, Director,
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Dr. Mary K. Wakefield,
Administrator, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA); Mark H.
Greenberg, Acting Assistant Secretary, Administration for Children and Families
(ACF); and Tim Love, Chief Operating Officer, Centers for Medicare and
Medicaid Services (CMS). Much of the discussion centered on the proposed
increases for the early Head Start program,zeroing out of funding for the CDC’s
national public health institutes in developing countries, reductions for the low
income heating assistance program (LIHEAP), and the additional $1.1 billion that
is needed for mandated spending on the unaccompanied refugee minors
program. See the written testimony and hearing webcast at the
This week, the Social Security Administration is launching a new Social Security
disability education and awareness initiative, “The Faces and Facts of Disability.”
Through this campaign, the agency will educate the public about the Social
Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program and dispel common misconceptions.
To learn more about the campaign, visit the Faces and Facts of Disability website
New Resource on the Medicaid Home and Community Based Services
Final RulePosted on May 12, 2014, the National Association of Councils on
Developmental Disabilities, the National Disability Rights Network, and the
Association of University Centers on Disabilities announced a new resource for
advocates to follow implementation of the HCBS final rule. The rule set forth new
requirements for several Medicaid authorities under which states may provide
home and community-based long term services and supports. The website will
have both state and federal resources to help track what states are doing to
comply with the rule and educate advocates about the important provisions.
The US Access Board Issues New Guidelines About Temporary
Posted on May 12, 2014The US Access Board issued new guidelines about
temporary housing provided during emergencies. The Access Board developed
an overview of the guidelines to accompany the lengthier final rule. Temporary
housing units provided by the government in times of disaster are transportable
and smaller than other types of housing. This presents unique accessibility
challenges. The Board will hold a public briefing on the guidelines in New York
City on May 15. Although the rule becomes effective June 6, 2014, compliance
will not be required until the Departments of Housing and Urban Development
(HUD) and Justice (DOJ) update their accessibility standards.
Confirmation Hearing on Social Security Advisory Board Nominations
Posted on May 5, 2014This week, the Senate Finance Committee will hold a
confirmation hearing on three Social Security Advisory Board (SSAB) nominations.
The SSAB is an independent, bipartisan board created by Congress and
appointed by the President and Congress to advise the President, the Congress,
and the Commissioner of Social Security on matters related to the Social Security
and Supplemental Security Income programs. Nominees are Henry J. Aaron of the
District of Columbia, Lanhee J. Chen, of California, and Alan L. Cohen, of Virginia.
Visit the Committee web site for more information and to view a live webcast the
day of the hearing (Thursday, May 8, 10:00 am EDT).
Senate to Hold Confirmation Hearings for Secretary of the Department of
Health and Human Services
Posted on May 5, 2014This week, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and
Pensions Committee will hold the first hearing on the nomination of Sylvia Mathews
Burwell to be Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
If confirmed by the Senate she would replace the current Secretary, Kathleen
Sebelius. Last April, Burwell was confirmed 96-0 as the Director of the Office of
Management and Budget. It is likely that questions about the Affordable Care Act
will dominate the hearings. The Senate Finance Committee will also hold a hearing
before a Senate confirmation vote is scheduled.
Senator Tom Harkin Urges Support for the Convention on the Rights of
Persons with Disabilities
Posted on May 5, 2014Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) reached out to The Arc and other
disability stakeholders asking for help in urging Senators to support the Convention
on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Senator Harkin is pushing for a
vote on the treaty the week of July 21st. July 26th is the 24th anniversary of the
signing of the ADA. Bi-partisan work is being done to craft reservations,
understandings, and declarations (RUDs) that will address concerns that some
Senators have about United Nations treaties in general and the CRPD specifically.
The Arc pledged to continue its efforts to garner support for the treaty.Posted in
New Data Pertaining to High School Graduation Rates in the United States
Posted on May 5, 2014The National Center for Education Statistics in the Department
of Education released data pertaining to high school graduation rates in the United
States. The report, “Public High School Four-Year On-Time Graduation Rates and
Event Dropout Rates: School Years 2010-11 and 2011-12, First Look,” provides
data by state on the percentage of students who graduate in four years with a regular
high school diploma and the percentage of students who drop out in a single year.
These data do not capture students who graduate but take more than 4 years nor do
they capture students who complete school with an alternative credential or a high
school equivalency diploma. Eighty percent of students received a regular high
school diploma within 4 years of starting 9th grade in the 2011-12 school year.
Students with disabilities had a graduation rate of 61% with a range from 81% in
Montana to 24% in Nevada.
A second report, “Building A Grad Nation: Progress and Challenge in Ending the High
School Dropout Epidemic (2014),” released by Civic Enterprises, Everyone Graduates
Center, America’s Promise Alliance, and the Alliance for Excellent Education,
highlighted the 20 percentage point difference between graduation rates for students
with and without disabilities. The report highlights five critical areas that will help the
nation reach a 90% graduation rate by 2020, including improving outcomes for students
Tony Paulauski Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423