Leaders in The Arc:  

This week’s Capitol Insider reviews the work of the “Super Committee” as it prepares for its work in September. Many of the proposals the “Super” Committee will review include many cuts to disability services including block granting Medicaid, cutting the Medicaid match, eliminating the CLASS Act. The Arc strongly opposes those measures.

See details below in this week’s Capitol Insider from our team in Washington D.C.

Tony Paulauski
The Arc of Illinois

Capitol Insider
for the Week of August 29, 2011
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Action Alert

Stand Up for Medicaid at a Town Hall Meeting!

Major Events Last Week

Budget/Deficit Reduction – Work of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction gets underway

Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Representative Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Co-Chairs of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, issued a statementon August 24. “[W]e are engaging in serious discussions to determine what set of rules will govern the committee’s operation, examining a schedule of potential meetings and exploring how to build a committee staff that will help us achieve success. Additionally, most of the committee members are reviewing the deficit reduction work that many others have engaged in over the past several years.”

The statement did not address when the Committee will hold its initial organizational meeting (the law that created the Committee, the Budget Control Act, requires the first meeting be held by Sept. 16). It also remains unclear whether the Committee’s proceedings will be open to the public and who will be selected for the important job of staff director. Several lawmakers and open government organizations have urged the Committee to hold its meetings in public. The Budget Control Act specifies that the Committee’s first meeting be open to the public, but leaves it up to the Committee to craft its own rules for subsequent meetings.

According to press reports, the Committee also is building a website designed to provide the public with a way to weigh in with their ideas and their thoughts to reduce the deficit.

The deficit reduction work alluded to in the statement of the Committee’s Co-Chairs may include the following:
1) Fiscal Commission December 2010 report – The Moment of Truth
2) Congressional Budget Office (CBO) March 2011 report – Reducing the Deficit: Spending and Revenue Options
3) Government Accountability Office (GAO) March 2011 report – Opportunities to Reduce Potential Duplication in Government Programs, Save Tax Dollars, and Enhance Revenue
4) Ryan 2012 House Budget Resolution – The Path to Prosperity
5) Ryan 2012 House Budget Resolution – Policy Riders
6) Bipartisan “Gang of Six” Senators’ July 2011 Draft Plan
7) Joint Economic Committee Republicans June, 2011 report – Maximizing America’s Prosperity: Lessons on Fiscal Rules from Other Developed Countries and U.S. States

Unfortunately, a number of recommendations proposed by these efforts would be very harmful to people with intellectual disabilities and their families, such as block granting Medicaid, reducing the federal matching rates for Medicaid services, using a different measure of inflation (the “chained consumer price index (CPI)”) to calculate cost of living adjustments for Social Security, and the repeal of the CLASS program.  Therefore, The Arc will continue to work diligently to ensure that these proposals are not included as part of Congress’ deficit reduction efforts.

Learn more about the Budget Control Act and how it may affect funding for disability-related programsat: http://www.thearc.org/page.aspx?pid=3286

Major Events Ahead

Employment – House hearing to focus on Federal job training programs

On August 30 at 11am (PDT), House Committee on Education and the Workforce Chairman John Kline (R-MN) will join Rep. Joe Heck (R-NV) in Nevada’s 3rd Congressional District to host a field hearing entitled “Examining Local Solutions to Strengthen Federal Job Training Programs.” The field hearing will take place at the Opportunity Village, Ralph and Betty Englestad Campus, located at 6050 South Buffalo Drive in Las Vegas. Click herefor more information regarding the hearing and witness list. We do not know if the Committee plans to webcast the hearing; if so, the webcast will be available here.


Employment – New Notice on Ticket to Work and State Workforce Development Systems

The U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration has issued a notice (TEN 6-11) highlighting ways public workforce development systems can increase their participation in the Social Security Administration’s Ticket to Work (TTW) program. TTW is intended to provide people who receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) with greater choices in obtaining employment services, vocational rehabilitation services, or other support services. The new notice provides information on TTW for state workforce agencies, local workforce investment boards, and One-Stop Career Centers.





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