Headed to Pontiac today to meet with advocates on community integration and rebalancing.
Medicaid – State Medicaid Programs at Risk in House/Senate Concurrent Budget Resolution
The Senate is expected to vote early this week on the concurrent budget resolution that was
passed by the House last week (see below). If passed in the Senate, the House and Senate
would be required to find savings in certain “entitlement” programs. This would likely be done
with legislation that includes fundamental restructuring of the Medicaid program, such as block
grants (state flexible spending accounts). Take action as soon as possible to oppose passage
in the Senate.
Major Event This Week
Budget and Appropriations – Senate Expected to Vote on Budget Plan
The Senate is expected to vote early this week on the compromise concurrent budget
resolution (Senate Concurrent Resolution 11) which lays out a budget plan for the Committees
to fund programs for Fiscal Year 2016. Once the Senate approves, the next steps will include
the relevant committees writing legislation to implement the outline in the budget resolutions.
A budget resolution does not go to the President for approval and it does not become law.
However, the resulting legislation must be passed by both the House and Senate and signed
by the President to become law.
Major Events Last Week
Budget and Appropriations – House Passes Budget Plan
The House of Representatives voted (226-197) on Thursday, April 30, to approve a
compromise concurrent budget resolution (Senate Concurrent Resolution 11) which lays out
a budget plan for the Committees to fund programs for Fiscal Year 2016. The resolution
maintains the statutory caps on discretionary funding such as funding for education, housing,
transportation, and other programs. It would also repeal the Affordable Care Act. In addition,
the resolution could result in permanent cuts and elimination of the entitlement to services in
the Medicaid program – which provides the bulk of long term supports and services (LTSS),
including home and community-based services (HCBS), and many employment supports to
people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD).
The concurrent budget resolution would require that the House Energy and Commerce
Committee and the Senate Finance Committee find at least $1 billion in savings in programs
under their jurisdiction. The resolution does not specify which programs must be cut to reach
the $1 billion. However, authorization of these cuts allows fundamental changes to the
structure of the Medicaid program in order to achieve these savings. Structural changes to
Medicaid are likely to include block grants to the states and reductions in eligibility and services.
Furthermore, the cuts could be much greater than $1 billion or the Congress could proceed
with more extensive cuts in future years once the Medicaid structural changes are in place.
Employment – House Holds Hearing on Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
Last week, the House Committee on Ways and Means, Subcommittee on Human Resources
held a hearing on “Next Steps for Welfare Reform: Ideas to Improve Temporary Assistance for
Needy Families to Help More Families Find Work and Escape Poverty”. Witnesses were Peter
Cove, Founder, America Works; Sherrie Smoot, Former America Works Client; Eloise Anderson,
Co-Chair of the Secretaries’ Innovation Group, Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of
Children and Families; Heather Reynolds, President and CEO, Catholic Charities Fort Worth;
Tracy Wareing, Executive Director, American Public Human Services Association; and LaDonna
Pavetti, Vice President for Family Income Support Policy, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
Visit the Committee website for testimony and archived video.
Employment – New Resource Offered by the Department of Labor
Last week, the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor posted a PowerPoint
presentation which provides a general overview of section 14(c) and requirements for
certificate holders. This presentation is accessible by the public at
http://www.dol.gov/whd/sec14c/14c-presentation.ppt. For additional guidance on section 14(c),
please see the Wage and Hour Division webpage.
Tony Paulauski Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423