I will be taking the remainder of the week off to enjoy the holiday with friends and family!“Capitol Insider is a publication of The Arc’s public policy office. To sign up to receive this weekly newsletter visit The Arc’s Action Center and join the Action E-List. You can also follow the latest policy updates on The Capitol Insider Blog.”
Capitol Insider
for the Week of July 1, 2013
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Action Alert: Pass the ABLE Act in the 113th Congress Disability Programs: Taxes Matter

Major Events Last Week Immigration – Senate Passes Immigration Reform Legislation

The Senate voted 68-43 to pass S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act and sent it to the House. All Senate Democrats voted for the bill as did 14 Republican Senators. Republican support was strengthened by passage of an amendment sponsored by Senators Bob Corker (R-TN) and John Hoeven (R-ND) that would add $30 billion in spending on border security. The bill also received a boost when the Congressional Budget Office determined it would reduce the deficit by almost $200 billion over the next decade and by $700 billion over the second decade. So far, the House has taken a piecemeal approach to immigration reform. The Judiciary Committee has approved four separate bills (H.R. 1773, H.R. 1772, H.R. 2278, and H.R. 2131) while the “gang of seven” continues to work on a comprehensive immigration reform bill. Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said that any immigration legislation must be supported by a majority of Republicans in the House.

Long-Term Services and Supports – The Long-Term Care Commission’s First Meeting

The Long-Term Care Commission had its first meeting on Thursday, June 27. The Chair, Bruce Chernof of the SCAN Foundation, said that the commission would send recommendations to Congress by the end of September on a long-term-care system overhaul. The 15-member group was created by the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, which repealed the CLASS Act program for a voluntary long term services and supports insurance program supported by premium payments. Chairman Chernof said that the Commission would launch a website soon because the Commission wants its deliberations to be transparent. S

ocial Security – House Holds Hearing on Role of Administrative Law Judges

Last week, the Energy Policy, Health Care and Entitlements Subcommittee of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held a hearing titled “Oversight of Rising Social Security Disability Claims on the Role of Administrative Law Judges.” Visit the Committee web site for testimony and related documents.

Announcements The Arc’s National Convention – Last Chance for Early Bird Discounts and Rooms!

Register now for The Arc’s National Convention before early registration discounts end this Friday. And, book your room at the Hyatt Regency now before our room block fills up. Rooms are going fast and we don’t want you to miss out on an excellent program August 3-5 in Bellevue, Washington. This year’s Convention is packed full of innovation and inspiration dedicated to Achieving Momentum in the movement for people with I/DD. Sign up now to hear from technology giants Verizon and Microsoft and acclaimed author Buzz Bissinger! You can also choose from dozens of sessions devoted to technology, family support, grassroots development, and hear exciting ideas coming out of our chapters. Paul

Marchand Internship Announced for Fall 2013 Session

The Arc is pleased to announce the selection of Patrick Dennis as the second recipient of the Paul Marchand Internship.  Mr. Dennis’ educational background, work history, and devotion to disability advocacy make him an ideal candidate for this position.  He is currently pursuing a law degree at Lewis & Clark University in Oregon and serves as the President of the National Association of Law Students with Disabilities (NALSWD). He has recently served as a law clerk for Disability Rights Oregon and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The Paul Marchand Internship was created to honor Paul’s nearly four decades of advocacy on behalf of people with I/DD and leadership in the broader disability field. Paid summer, spring, and fall sessions will be available through 2015.  Learn more about the internship on The Arc website.

Long-Term Services and Supports – Grants for Ombudsman Programs for Duals Demos

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a funding opportunity for an independent ombudsman program in the amount of $12 million over three years.  States with a signed memorandum of understanding (MOU) with CMS to implement a demonstration to integrate and coordinate care for individuals who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid are eligible to apply. CMS anticipates making awards this fall. The opportunity will provide financial assistance over a three-year period to states to plan, develop, and provide Demonstration Ombudsman Program services to individuals who participate in financial alignment demonstrations.  The three goals of the program are to: 1) assist individuals in resolving problems with the demonstration, 2) inform states, plans, CMS, and others about the beneficiary experience in the demonstrations, and 3) recommend areas of improvement. The first round application deadline is July 30, 2013.

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)