The Arc of Illinois Update – Take Action! We hope everyone has a wonderful holiday and new year. Please note, the Arc update will be out the week of Jan 6.
TAKE ACTION! TODAY Is National Call-In Day for MFP Reauthorization
The Money Follows the Person Program (MFP) helps people with disabilities and older adults move from institutions and nursing homes back to their homes and communities. There’s a lot of things on Congress’s plate right now, but funds for MFP will run out at the END OF THIS MONTH
ACT NOW. Call your Members of Congress and urge them to pass a permanent reuthorization of MFP. The Capitol Switchboard can connect you with your Senators’ offices: 202-224-3121, or 202-224-3091 (TTY). #FundMFP
It’s always nice when an independent evaluation proves a program successful. Since 2005, the Money Follows the Person Program (MFP) has effectively helped older adults and people with disabilities move back home from care facilities. Now, we need your help encouraging Congress to MAKE IT PERMANENT
Your voice matters, so spread the word and get your friends and family to tell their Members of Congress to make this program permanent #FundMFP
Check out and share this Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/810760156038149/
Support TN Advocates to Say NO to Block Grants
Many of you might have heard that TN is submitting a proposal to convert a portion of its Medicaid program (TennCare) to a block grant. Otherwise known as Amendment 42, this proposal would not only be detrimental to Tennesseans with I/DD, it sets a danger precedent for other states if approved by CMS. The CMS public comment period on Amendment 42 closes on December 27th.
Please help us to lift up concerns around this by submitting a comment opposing this proposal by Dec 27.
Here is some information that might help you if you choose to comment:
- TennCare’s Amendment 42 that was submitted to CMS
- The Arc Tennessee’s public comments
- The Center for Budget and Policy Priority that highlights their concerns.
Please take a few moments to submit your own comments through the link below and help us put an end to Amendment 42 and any momentum towards block grants for the Medicaid programs.
Seclusion and Restraint – Voices Needed
This week the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) released its proposed final rules on the use of seclusion and restraint in schools. You can check it out here. It is fairly similar to the amended emergency rules. We need your help to make sure the rules are strong and clear in their statement of support for kids with disabilities in schools. The Herald & Review did a summary at this link with a link to the text of the proposed rule (thanks Amber!). The Arc will be submitting comments which I will share as well as comments from a number of other groups. We continue to work with other advocates on a legislative strategy as well.
Comments are due by February 4. Public comment may be made via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone at 217-782-4321 or by physical mail or to anyone in the agency. Its Springfield office is at 100 N. 1st St., zip code 62777.
Budget & Appropriations: Action on FY 2020 Appropriations Expected This Week
Congressional appropriators have signaled progress in a plan to fund the government through the remainder of fiscal year (FY) 2020, which began on October 1. Last week, Appropriations leaders announced an agreement in principle on all 12 appropriations bills. According to press reports, areas of agreement on the $1.3 trillion package include flat funding for the border wall with Mexico and no back-fill of funding for military construction funding that the Administration has diverted to the wall. However, no information was provided on how the funding increases will be allocated between the appropriations bills nor what other measures might be included. Text for the bills may be released as soon as today. With the current continuing resolution set to expire on Friday, the bills would need to be voted on by both chambers and signed by the President before then to avoid a government shutdown. Alternatively, one or more short-term funding bills could be enacted to avoid a shutdown.
Major Recent Events
Social Security: Bipartisan Social Security Bill Introduced in House and Senate
Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Representatives John Larson (D-CT) and Vern Buchanan (R-FL) introduced the Know Your Social Security Act (S.2989, H.R.5306). This bill requires the Social Security Administration to provide each beneficiary an annual Social Security Statement by mail unless an individual opts out. The Arc supports this bill.
Employment/Family Support: House Passes Bill Providing Paid Parental Leave for Federal Employees On December 11, the House passed the National Defense Authorization Act (H.R.2500) with a provision providing 12 weeks of paid parental leave for all federal employees. However, the bill does not provide paid leave for personal medical issues or to care for a family member. The bill must next pass the Senate. President Trump has indicated he will sign the bill.