Happy Birthday Medicaid and Medicare!  Remind Friends, Family and Policy Makers Why These Programs are Critical For People with Disabilities!

Here is a great info graphic from Little Lobbyists:

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From the Arc of the United States:

Autism: House Approves Autism CARES Act Reauthorization

On July 24, the House of Representatives approved the Autism Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education, and Support (CARES) Act of 2019 (H.R.1058, as amended). The Autism CARES Act funds autism research, surveillance, and education programs at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), respectively. The Arc supports this legislation, which must next be approved by the Senate by September 30 in order to avoid expiration of the work done by the CDC and HRSA.

Family Support: House Approves Lifespan Respite Reauthorization

On July 24, the House of Representatives approved the Lifespan Respite Care Reauthorization Act of 2019 (H.R.2035). The Lifespan Respite Care Program, through grants to states, helps build coordinated state lifespan respite systems, helps family caregivers pay for respite or find funding sources, encourages development of new and innovative community and faith based respite opportunities, and trains respite workers and volunteers. The Arc supports this bill, which must next be approved by the Senate.

Social Security: House Committee Holds Hearing on Social Security Financing Bill

On July 25, the House Ways and Means Committee held a hearing on the Social Security 2100 Act (H.R.860). The bill would make Social Security benefits more adequate by providing a modest across-the-board increase, improving annual cost of living adjustments, and increasing the minimum Social Security benefit to 25 percent above the federal poverty line. Additionally, it would create a single Social Security Trust Fund to simplify Social Security’s operations and ensure that Social Security is able to pay full scheduled benefits for the next 75 years through modest enhancements to revenues. The Arc strongly supports the Social Security 2100 Act. Testimony from the hearing is available on the committee website.

Income Support: The Administration Proposes Cutting Food Assistance for 3.1 Million

On July 24, the Administration issued a notice of proposed rulemaking that would cut current eligibility for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). For the past 20 years, states have had flexibility to adjust SNAP eligibility to reflect local and state dynamics and to help low-income people to avoid a SNAP benefit cliff. Unfortunately, this proposal would eliminate that flexibility and cut off SNAP benefits for 3.1 million individuals. This change will also eliminate eligibility for free school meals for the children in those families. SNAP provides food assistances that helps approximately 11 million people with disabilities. The Arc strongly opposes the changes in the proposed rule. Watch The Arc’s video on the importance of SNAP.

Tax/Rights: Representatives Re-Introduce Bill to Improve ADA Compliance for 29th Anniversary

Last week, in conjunction with the 29th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Representatives Donald McEachin (D-VA) and Jim Langevin (D-RI) and Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Bob Casey (D-PA) re-introduced the Disabled Access Credit Expansion Act (H.R.4045/S.2290). This bill will double the Disabled Access Credit (DAC) and increase the number of businesses eligible for it. The DAC is a tax credit for small businesses that make renovations to make their facilities accessible. Additionally, the bill increases funding for the voluntary ADA Mediation Program in the Department of Justice and requires data collection and reporting on the types of calls received by the ADA Information Line.


Education: USCCR Releases Report on School to Prison Pipeline

On July 23, the United States Commission on Civil Rights (USCCR) released a report titled “Beyond Suspensions: Examining School Discipline Policies and Connections to the School-to-Prison Pipeline for Students of Color with Disabilities.” The report notes that students of color and students with disabilities are disproportionately subjected to suspension. Additionally, it notes that few empirical studies have evaluated the intersection of race and disability when it comes to discipline. Recommendations include continued guidance and enforcement from the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) and Congressional appropriations to help states and school districts train and support teachers and provide an adequate number of counselors and social workers in all schools.