Capitol Insider: Your Action Needed!

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It's Time for the Senate to Act!

#WeAreEssential:

Tell Congress to Include the Disability Community in COVID-19 Relief Bills

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Major Events Ahead

Senate Action Needed on Developing A Fourth Coronavirus Package

The Senate must act to pass legislation that includes the critical needs of people with disabilities, their families, and the direct support professional (DSP) workforce in a new coronavirus package. In May, the House passed its fourth coronavirus package, the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act (H.R.6800), with a vote of 208-199. The Senate will begin negotiations on their fourth coronavirus package when it returns from recess on July 20.

The Arc's priorities for the fourth package include:

  • Increased federal funding for home and community based services (HCBS) under Medicaid
  • Increased access to personal protective equipment (PPE) for DSPs
  • Expanded eligibility for economic impact payments to adult dependents and another round of payments
  • Paid leave eligibility for family caregivers of adults with disabilities, including siblings and grandparents

See The Arc’s July 7 update here. We urge you to contact your Senators here.


Major Recent Events

House Subcommittee Approves FY 2021 L-HHS-Ed Funding Bill

On July 7, the House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (L-HHS-ED) approved its funding bill for fiscal year (FY) 2021. Most of The Arc’s priority programs received level funding or small increases. Programs receiving significant increases include Lifespan Respite Care Act (63.7%), State Grants to Remove Barriers to Voting (13.4%), and Special Olympics Education Programs (24.5%). Funding levels for The Arc’s priority programs can be found here. The full committee will mark up the bill on July 13.

House Subcommittee Approves FY 2021 T-HUD Funding Bill

On July 8, the House Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing, Urban Development, and Related Agencies approved its funding bill for FY 2021. The bill includes $227 million for Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities, $310 million for Section 811 mainstream vouchers, and an increase in funding for several other affordable housing priorities. Additionally, the bill would prevent some discriminatory actions that would hurt access to affordable, accessible housing for people with disabilities and other protected categories. A summary of the bill can be found here. The full committee will mark up the bill on July 14.


Announcements

Report Shows Most States Are Not Meeting IDEA Obligations

The U.S. Department of Education found that only 21 states deserved the “meets requirements” designation with regard to Part B for the 2018-2019 school year. Twenty-seven states and the District of Columbia were placed into the “needs assistance” category. Two states were placed in the “needs intervention” category. The findings come from an annual mandatory assessment of state compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The ratings are based on how well states meet their obligations to serve students with disabilities ages 3 to 21.

GAO Releases Report of School Shootings

On July 9, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report titled “Characteristics of School Shootings." As mentioned in the report, the Commission on School Safety recommended rescission of the Education Department’s “Rethink School Discipline” guidance. The report found no empirical research examining the relationship between school discipline and school shootings.

Week of July 13 Is National Disability Voter Registration Week

This week is National Disability Voter Registration Week. The Arc has developed resources in plain language and Spanish including a disability voter guide and other resources. Learn more about exercising your right to vote at https://thearc.org/vote/ and https://www.aapd.com/advocacy/voting/.


The Arc

For people with intellectual and developmental disabilities

The Arc promotes and protects the human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and actively supports their full inclusion and participation in the community throughout their lifetimes.

The Arc of the United States

1825 K Street NW, Suite 1200, Washington, DC 20006