Going to be a very interesting week in Springfield. Senate Bill 274 which restores the
suspensions to disability grants remains in the House Rules Committee.

Our message remains, call your House Representative and ask them to vote for Senate
Bill 274.



Major Event Last Week

Budget & Appropriations – House and Senate FY 2016 Budget Conferees hold first

The Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 House and Senate Budget Committee’s Conferees met for the
first time on April 20.  The Conferees are working to iron out the differences between their
chambers’ FY 2016 Budget Resolutions.  Since the differences are considered to be
relatively small, they are expected to reach consensus and pass a concurrent budget
resolution.  Unfortunately, both budget resolutions contained drastic cuts to both the
entitlement (Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security) and discretionary programs (e.g.
housing, education, employment, protection and advocacy) that are critical for people with
disabilities. In addition, they both contain reconciliation instructions which direct
Congressional Committees to develop legislation to carry out the cuts to certain entitlement
and other programs.  However, any reconciliation legislation would then be subject to
additional votes and ultimately presidential approval.  For more information, see The Arc’s
summaries of the FY 2016 House and Senate budget resolutions:

The Senate Conferees are:
Mike Enzi (R-WY)
Charles Grassley (R-IA)
Jeff Sessions (R-AL)
Mike Crapo (R-ID)
Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
Rob Portman (R-OH)
Pat Toomey (R-PA)
Ron Johnson (R-WI)
Kelly Ayotte (R-NH)
Roger Wicker (R-MS)
Bob Corker (R-TN)
David Perdue (R-GA)
Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
Patty Murray (D-WA)
Ron Wyden (D-OR)
Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)
Mark Warner (D-VA)
Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)
Tim Kaine (D-VA)
Angus King (I-Maine)

The House conferees are:
Tom Price, M.D. (R-GA)
Todd Rokita (R-IN)
Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL)
Diane Black (R-TN)
John Moolenaar (R-MI)
Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)
John Yarmuth (D-KY)
Gwen Moore (D-WI)

Two Bills to Strengthen Social Security Trust Fund Introduced in House

Last week, Representative Peter DeFazio (D-OR) introduced two bills that seek to preserve
Social Security for future beneficiaries, including people with disabilities. The Fair
Adjustments and Income Revenues (FAIR) for Social Security Act (H.R. 1984) would ensure
that the Social Security Trust Fund is able to pay full benefits at least through 2057.  This bill
would do so by eliminating the cap that currently allows the wealthiest Americans to
contribute a significantly lower percentage of their annual income to the trust fund.  The bill
was referred to the House Ways and Means Committee and the House Education and the
Workforce Committee. The Social Security Protection and Truth in Budgeting Act (H.R. 1983)
would ensure Social Security trust funds are not used for non-Social Security purposes.
Additionally, it would separate Social Security trust funds from the federal budget so they
could not be used to artificially lower the deficit.  The bill was referred to the House Budget
Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee. The Arc applauds the introduction
of these two bills.

Employment – Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act News

Last week, the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS), Department
of Education announced plans to hold two public meetings to seek comments about the
proposed regulatory changes contained in a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM)
published in the Federal Register on April 16, 2015.  The hearings will provide an opportunity
for the public to provide comment related to the NPRM which amends the Code of Federal
Regulations Parts 361 (State Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program), 363 (State
Supported Employment Services Program), and 397 (Limitations on Use of Subminimum
Wage.  The first meeting will be held on April 30, 2015 from 1 p.m.-5 p.m.  in Washington,
D.C. at the Department of Education. The second will be held May 20, 2015 from 1 p.m. –
5 p.m. at the Department of Rehabilitation in Sacramento, CA. Speakers will likely have five
minutes to provide comment in person, however written comments can be submitted using www.regulations.gov through June 15, 2015.

Additionally, the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), Department of Labor
announced the next meeting of the Advisory Committee on Increasing Competitive
Integrated Employment for Individuals with Disabilities.  It will take place via webinar on
Monday, May 11, 2015 from 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. and Tuesday, May 12, 2015 from 1 p.m. –
5 p.m. (EDT).  If you wish to participate in the webinar, you must register here by May 4th.
If you desire to address the committee during the public comment period on May 11 from 3
p.m. – 4 p.m.  (EDT), you must send your name, the organization you represent (if applicable
) and additional materials to IntegratedCompetitiveEmployment@dol.gov or call David
Berthiaume at (202)693-7887 by May 4th.

Medicaid – New Report Released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

Last week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a report titled
“The Right Supports at the Right Time: How Money Follows the Person (MFP) Programs Are
Supporting Diverse Populations in the Community.” This report examines how six MFP
grantees are serving populations with diverse needs in the community and the factors that
have contributed to their performance on key outcome measures. The report is available

Tony Paulauski
Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423
815-464-1832 (OFFICE)
815-464-1832 (CELL)