Capitol Insider


Major Event Last Week

Budget and Appropriations – Concurrent Budget Resolution Passed in

On May 5 the Senate approved a concurrent budget resolution for FY 2016 which
begins October 1.  The measure was approved by a vote of 51-48. The U.S.
House of Representatives had approved the same plan the previous week by a
margin of 226-197.  While this budget framework is not legally binding, it serves as
the blueprint for making decisions about spending and revenues in the coming fiscal
year.  The 2016 concurrent budget resolution includes several attacks on major
programs that will harm people with disabilities, such as:

Possible permanent cuts and elimination of the entitlement to services in the
Medicaid program.
  Medicaid provides the vast majority 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 proposed block grants to the states would require fundamental structural
changes to the basic Medicaid program which could lead to states restricting eligibility
and services or increasing costs for individuals, or other options to replace the
reduced funding.

Repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  The ACA includes numerous protections
and benefits for persons with disabilities, such as prohibiting private health insurance
exclusions for pre-existing conditions, eliminating annual and lifetime caps in private
insurance policies, and restricting the consideration of health status in setting

Dramatic cuts to non-defense discretionary (NDD) programs.  NDD programs –
which include early intervention, education, employment, housing, and much more –
would be cut by another $496 billion from 2017-2025 on top of the sequestration cuts
that extend through 2021.  This would more than double the cuts in NDD programs
over the coming decade.  See the funding chart showing cuts to disability programs
since 2010.Learn more about the Congressional budget plan at

Direct Support Professionals – Fair Labor Standards Act (Homecare Rule)

Last week, three judges from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia
Circuit heard oral arguments related to Home Care Association of America v. Weil
which challenges the Home Care Final Rule issued by the Department of Labor (DOL)
and intended to be implemented on January 1, 2015.  The rule was put on hold due to a
pair of rulings from the US District Court vacating the challenged provisions. The suit
challenges DOL’s authority to 1) revise the definition of companionship services and 2)
discontinues the exemption of overtime compensation by third party employers of home
care workers who provide companionship services from overtime compensation.   The
Court of Appeals is expected to issue a decision this summer. For more information,


Transportation – National Council on Disability Releases Transportation Report

The National Council on Disability (NCD) released a report entitled “Transportation
Update:  Where We’ve Gone and What We’ve Learned,” a comprehensive update of a
2005 study sponsored by the NCD.  The report provides an overview of transportation in
the United States, the changes since the last report, and recommends public policy to
address new and persistent problems.

Education – Civil Rights Data on Students With Disabilities Released

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights released its FY 2013-2014
Report to the President, Protecting Civil Rights, Advancing Equity.  This annual report
contains data and case examples of reported cases of discrimination under section 504
of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  The report
shows that the greatest number of complaints of discrimination pertain to receiving a
free and appropriate education (FAPE), retaliation, and different treatment/exclusion/
denial of benefits.   In addition, the report includes data on combating disparities in
school disciplinary practices (including restraint and seclusion);  ensuring equal access
to comparable educational opportunities; providing necessary academic adjustments
for post-secondary students; safeguarding accessibility to appropriate technology;
ensuring accessibility of programs, services, and facilities; and combating bullying and
harassment on the basis of disability.  See the report at:

Autism – Senate Briefing on Wandering (also known as elopement) by Persons
With Autism

Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is sponsoring a briefing on “Elopement in Children
and Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders” on Tuesday, May 19th from 1:00 pm to
2:30 pm EDT in the Russell Senate Building, Room 485.  Speakers will include: Scott
Badesch, President/Chief Executive Offi­cer, Autism Society of America; Robert Lowery,
Jr., Vice President, Missing Children Division, National Center for Missing & Exploited
Children; Scott Martin, Director, SafetyNet Division of LoJack Corporation; formerly
State Police Captain (Retired), Connecticut State Police; and Lori McIlwain, Co
-founder & Board Chairperson, National Autism Association.   This briefing aims to
raise awareness of the problem of wandering and how law enforcement agencies are

Employment – Fair Labor Standards Act/Subminimum Wage

Recently, 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  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
815-464-1832 (OFFICE)
815-464-1832 (CELL)