Capitol Insider

Action Alert


Major Event Ahead

Miscellaneous – Senate to Hold Hearing on “Welfare and Poverty in America”

On Thursday, the Senate Committee on Finance will hold a hearing on “Welfare and
Poverty in America.” Witnesses will be Pamela Loprest, Labor Economist and Senior
Fellow, Income and Benefits Policy Center, Urban Institute; Aretha J. Jackson, disabled
veteran and TANF recipient; H. Luke Shaefer, Associate Professor, School of Social
Work and the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, Ann Arbor, Mich.; Jon Pierpont,
Executive Director, Utah Department of Workforce Services, Salt Lake City, Utah. Visit
the Committee web site to view testimony and live video the day of the hearing.


Major Events Last Week

Health Care – House of Representatives Approves Reconciliation Bill Repealing
Parts of Health Care Law

Last Friday, in a vote of 240 to 189, the House of Representatives approved a bill
which, if enacted, would repeal major portions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). These
would include the individual responsibility provisions, employer responsibility provisions,
as well as the Prevention and Public Health Fund. This legislation would also reverse
taxes on medical device manufacturers and high cost health insurance plans.
Additionally, the bill prohibits federal funding of Planned Parenthood for one year. The
bill will now be sent to the Senate. It is a reconciliation bill which can pass the Senate
with a simple majority. The President has announced that he would veto the legislation.

Rights/Long Term Services and Supports — Court Rules That Illinois Can Close
Murray Developmental Cente

Citing a nation-wide trend to increase home and community based services (HCBS) for
people with I/DD, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently ruled on
the contested closure of Murray Developmental Center (Murray DC). The court held
that Illinois could move forward with closing the facility. The ruling cited a growing
number of studies that show that people with disabilities experience a higher quality of
life in community-based settings as opposed to facility-based care. The ruling in its
entirely may be viewed here.



The Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation Fellowship Program Accepting
Applications – Deadline Looming

The Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation is seeking applicants for its Public Policy
Fellowship.  Applicants should be exemplary professionals, people with disabilities, or
family members of people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. The
fellowship prepares mid-career or more seasoned leaders to assume leadership in the
disability public policy arena at the state or national level. Fellows spend one year in
Washington, D.C. in the office of a Member of Congress, Congressional Committee, or
federal agency. Learn more and apply for the fellowship here. Applications are due
October 31, 2015.

Education – Seeking art, stories, and photographs for IDEA 40th Anniversary

As part of their 40th anniversary celebration of the Individuals with Disabilities Education
Act (IDEA), the Office of Special Education Programs wants to hear from individuals
with disabilities — especially children and youth with disabilities — parents, teachers,
researchers and all other IDEA stakeholders about the personal impact this law has had
on them: How has IDEA made a difference to you?  What do inclusion, equity, and
opportunity look like for you?  Share your art, photographs and stories by November 8,
2015 on the IDEA 40th Anniversary Web site for possible use for upcoming events in
Washington, D.C. celebrating the 40th Anniversary of IDEA.

Health Care—Open Enrollment Begins November 1st

Now is the time for individuals who are uninsured or looking for affordable health
insurance to investigate the private health insurance plans available through state
marketplaces (to find your state information visit the health care website) During “open
enrollment”, a person can purchase private health insurance through the marketplace in
each state. There may also be financial assistance to help with health care costs
available for low and moderate income. It is also important for people who currently
have insurance through the marketplace to look at the plan and determine if it will
continue to meet the needs of the person, or select a better plan. Individuals who do
not take action will be automatically re-enrolled in the current plan. Re-enrollment is
also an important opportunity for people to report any changes in income.

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)