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In December 2018, The Arc filed an amicus brief before the New York Supreme Court in People v. McCollum in support of an adult man with autism charged with unauthorized driving of city trains and buses. In an unprecedented decision, … Continue reading

Today, the Trump Administration released a budget request that if passed by Congress, would put the lives of people with disabilities at risk. The proposal includes deep cuts to Medicaid, the core program providing access to health care and home … Continue reading

In 2014, The Arc of Northern Virginia collaborated with software partner ONEder to develop the award-winning TravelMate program. TravelMate provides virtual support on a smartphone or tablet, facilitating more independence using the bus, train, and other transportation. By the end … Continue reading

#HandsOff is a series on The Arc Blog. Each month, we feature a story from individuals and families across The Arc’s network about how some of today’s key policy issues impact their day to day lives. By: Julie Ross, The … Continue reading

The U.S. Supreme Court issued a per curiam (published in the name of the Court rather than specific judges) opinion today reversing the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (TCCA) and finding that Bobby Moore is a person with intellectual disability … Continue reading

On February 15, President Trump signed a bill funding the seven remaining appropriations packages for the remainder of FY 2019, which ends September 30. The passage of this bill means that the government will not be shut down over appropriations … Continue reading

The post Budget & Appropriations: President Signs Full-Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Appropriations Bill appeared first on The Capitol Insider.

On February 13, the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Health Subcommittee held a hearing on proposed legislation that would reverse current administration policies on implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), such as the reduction in funding for programs that … Continue reading

The post Health Care: House Committee Holds Hearing on Legislation to Reverse Administration Policies on ACA Implementation appeared first on The Capitol Insider.

On February 14, the Senate confirmed Attorney General William Barr with a vote of 54-45. The Attorney General is a cabinet level position in charge of the Department of Justice, which is responsible for enforcing federal civil rights laws, including … Continue reading

The post Rights: Senate Approves William Barr as Attorney General appeared first on The Capitol Insider.

On February 5, the Department of Education issued an FAQ document clarifying situations in which schools can share personally identifiable information protected under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) with law enforcement. This document was compiled from existing guidance … Continue reading

The post Education: Education Department Releases FAQ on FERPA and School Safety Issues appeared first on The Capitol Insider.

Congress has until midnight on Friday, February 15 to reach agreement on a spending bill for the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Housing and Urban Development, Homeland Security, Interior, Justice, State, and Transportation. Negotiations appear to have stalled over the weekend … Continue reading

The post Budget & Appropriations: Deadline for Spending Agreement Approaching; Another Partial Government Shutdown Is Possible appeared first on The Capitol Insider.

Senators Robert Casey (D-PA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Patty Murray (D-WA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) have introduced the Surviving Widow(er) Income Fair Treatment Act of 2019 (SWIFT Act; S.345). The bill seeks to fix outdated … Continue reading

The post Social Security: Bill Introduced to Enhance Benefits for Widow(er)s With Disabilities appeared first on The Capitol Insider.

On January 29, Senator Robert Casey (D-PA) introduced two bills related to employment for people with disabilities. The first bill, the Transformation to Competitive Employment Act (S.260), will phase out 14(c) subminimum wage certificates over six years and provides grants … Continue reading

The post Employment: Two Employment Bills Introduced in the Senate appeared first on The Capitol Insider.

On February 7, Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Mike Enzi (R-WY) and Representatives Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Mike Doyle (D-PA) introduced the Autism Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education, and Support (CARES) Act of 2019 (S.427, H.R.1058). The Autism CARES Act funds … Continue reading

The post Autism: Autism CARES Act Reauthorization Introduced in Senate and House appeared first on The Capitol Insider.

On February 7, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to favorably report the nomination of William Barr to be Attorney General. The Attorney General is a cabinet level position in charge of the Department of Justice, which is responsible for enforcing … Continue reading

The post Rights: Senate Committee Approves Nominee for Attorney General appeared first on The Capitol Insider.

Representative Bobby Scott (D-VA) will serve as Chair of the full committee and Representative Virginia Foxx (R-NC) will serve as Ranking Member. Additionally, the following will serve as Subcommittee Chairs and Ranking Members, respectively: Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education: … Continue reading

The post Congress: House Education and Labor Committee Leadership Announced appeared first on The Capitol Insider.

On January 16, Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) and 10 other Senators introduced the Creating Hope and Opportunity for Individuals and Communities through Education Act (CHOICE) Act. The CHOICE Act amends the Scholarship for Opportunity and Results (SOAR) Act, which provides … Continue reading

The post Education: Senators Introduce School Voucher Bill appeared first on The Capitol Insider.

The Arc and the National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP) at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health have released Disability Perspectives on Paid Leave: A Qualitative Analysis of Leave-taking Among Workers Affected by Disabilities or Serious Health Conditions. … Continue reading

The post Income Support: Workers Speak Out on Disability and Health: New Report on Paid Family Leave and the Disability Angle appeared first on The Capitol Insider.

Registration is open for the for the 2019 Disability Policy Seminar, the premier event for cultivating champions on Capitol Hill and advancing the grassroots movement for people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. Join other passionate advocates and professionals from around … Continue reading

The post Miscellaneous: Attend the Disability Policy Seminar on April 8-10 appeared first on The Capitol Insider.

Today, The Arc of the United States (The Arc) and the National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP) at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health are releasing Disability Perspectives on Paid Leave: A Qualitative Analysis of Leave-taking Among Workers Affected … Continue reading

The criminal justice system is filled with gaps in how it navigates and addresses the needs of people with disabilities. In an effort to address this, Kyle Piccola and Ana Martinez are leading education efforts at The Arc of Texas. … Continue reading

On January 25, President Trump announced a deal to re-open the government until February 15 with the expectation that negotiations on a longer term deal would occur during that time. The Senate and the House of Representatives both passed a … Continue reading

The post Budget & Appropriations: President Trump Signs Short-Term Funding Bill Ending Partial Government Shutdown appeared first on The Capitol Insider.

On January 24, 2019, the President signed into law H.R. 259, the “Medicaid Extenders Act of 2019,” which extends the Money Follows the Person (MFP) program. The measure provides 3 months of funding for the MFP program, which states have … Continue reading

The post Medicaid/LTSS: Short-Term MFP Extension Signed Into Law appeared first on The Capitol Insider.

On January 24, Senators Ron Johnson (R-WI), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Tim Scott (R-SC) introduced a bill to reauthorize the Scholarship for Opportunity and Results (SOAR) Act, which provides private school vouchers for low-income students in the District of Columbia. … Continue reading

The post Education: Senators Introduce DC School Voucher Reauthorization appeared first on The Capitol Insider.

Last week, the Medicaid Extenders Act of 2019 was signed by President Trump. A three-month funding extension for Money Follows the Person (MFP) was included in this bill. This program moves people with disabilities from institutions into the community by … Continue reading

Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service is a day to celebrate compassion for everyone in our community, and to take action to address social problems and build stronger communities. This MLK Day and throughout 2019, several chapters of The … Continue reading

On January 18, the House passed a six-week continuing resolution (CR) by voice vote to extend temporary funding through February 28 for agencies that are not presently funded. The CR contains six spending bills that were negotiated by the House … Continue reading

The post Budget & Appropriations: House Passes Funding Bills to End Partial Government Shutdown appeared first on The Capitol Insider.

On January 17, the Senate approved H.R.259, which extends the Money Follows the Person (MFP) Program until September 30. The MFP program has helped more than 88,000 seniors and individuals with disabilities move out of nursing homes and institutions. Independent … Continue reading

The post Medicaid/LTSS: Senate Approves MFP Extension appeared first on The Capitol Insider.

On January 15, Representative James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) reintroduced the Disability Integration Act (H.R.555/S.117). The Disability Integration Act requires states to offer community-based options. Additionally, it requires states to address the need for affordable housing. ADAPT … Continue reading

The post Rights/LTSS: Disability Integration Act Reintroduced appeared first on The Capitol Insider.

Today, in response to the U.S. Department of Education’s announcement of an initiative to address the inappropriate use of restraint and seclusion on students with disabilities, Julie Ward, The Arc’s Senior Executive Officer for Public Policy, issued the following statement: … Continue reading

The Asbury Park Press, in a front page article, highlights the formation of a Down syndrome and dementia support group. The report includes insights from The Arc of New Jersey's Mainstreaming Medical Director Beverly Roberts and brings attention to a very important issue.

In December, California opened a new Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) program, bringing the total number of jurisdictions with ABLE programs to 42. The program is open to all eligible individuals nationwide. It has three investment options and a … Continue reading

The post Tax: California Opens Qualified ABLE Program appeared first on The Capitol Insider.

The Arc of New Jersey believes that individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities must be included in all aspects of life and provided appropriate services to make that outcome a reality. In light of a recently-published report, entitled the Case for Inclusion 2019, The Arc of New Jersey agrees that more must be done to combat the ongoing Direct Support Professional workforce crisis and more services must be provided so that people with I/DD can find and maintain competitive employment in the community. We urge the State to evaluate the findings of the report and evaluate how New Jersey can improve going forward so that people with I/DD are able to live their lives to the fullest.

The Arc of the United States is pleased to announce two of its programs, Wings for Autism®/Wings for All® and the National Center on Criminal Justice and Disability (NCCJD)’s Pathways to Justice®, have been named 2019 Zero Project Awardees. The … Continue reading

Due to a failure to enact appropriations or a continuing resolution, parts of the federal government shut down on December 22, 2018. Many agencies, including those under the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, remain open and … Continue reading

The post Budget and Appropriations: Congress Fails to Enact Appropriations; Government Enters Partial Shutdown appeared first on The Capitol Insider.

On January 3, the 116th Congress began, and most newly-elected members were formally sworn in. Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was elected Speaker of the House of Representatives. The new Congress includes 9 freshman Senators and 93 freshman Representatives. House Appropriations … Continue reading

The post Miscellaneous News: 116th Congress Convenes, Committee Assignments Announced appeared first on The Capitol Insider.

Two bills were introduced on January 3 to fund private school education at the federal level. The first, S.5, provides a federal tax credit for private school tuition. The second, H.R. 69, allows parents to take federal Elementary and Secondary … Continue reading

The post Education: School Voucher Bills Introduced appeared first on The Capitol Insider.

On December 21, 2018, the U.S. Department of Education announced that it had rescinded a package of guidance documents related to school discipline. The guidance detailed how, among other things, educators should prevent discipline from being administered in a way … Continue reading

The post Education: Trump Administration Rescinds School Discipline Guidance appeared first on The Capitol Insider.

Education: 40th Annual Report to Congress on IDEA Implementation Released​​​ The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that the Department of Education report annually on the progress made toward the provision of a free appropriate public education to all … Continue reading

The post Education: 40th Annual Report to Congress on IDEA Implementation Released appeared first on The Capitol Insider.

The Arc of the United States is pleased to announce the National Center on Criminal Justice and Disability® (NCCJD®) received a grant from the WITH Foundation to expand its successful initiative Talk About Sexual Violence (TASV). TASV was born out … Continue reading

Washington, DC – Last week, both chambers of Congress passed a bill focusing on criminal justice reform, which President Trump signed into law. The legislation shortens sentences and supports job training and other programs for some prisoners with disabilities. “We … Continue reading

Last week, House and Senate conferees released a bipartisan Conference Report on the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (H.R. 2; also known as the “Farm Bill”), to reauthorize U.S. farm policies and programs as well as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance … Continue reading

The post Income Support: House and Senate Pass Bipartisan Farm Bill That Protects and Preserves SNAP appeared first on The Capitol Insider.

Last week, the House both passed the Improving Medicaid Programs and Opportunities for Eligible Beneficiaries (IMPROVE) Act (H.R.7217). This bill includes reauthorization of the Money Follows the Person (MFP) program for three months. MFP provides grants to states to transition … Continue reading

The post Medicaid/LTSS: House Approves Three-Month MFP Extension appeared first on The Capitol Insider.

On December 14, a federal judge ruled that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is unconstitutional as a result of the provisions in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that removed the penalty for individuals who do not purchase health insurance. … Continue reading

The post Health Care: Federal Judge Rules that Health Care Law Is Unconstitutional appeared first on The Capitol Insider.

Congress has until midnight on Friday, December 21 to wrap up seven of the 12 outstanding appropriations bills in order to avoid a partial government shutdown. Funding could lapse for the Departments of Justice, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, and … Continue reading

The post Budget & Appropriations: Congress Facing Funding Deadline This Week appeared first on The Capitol Insider.

Now is the time for individuals who are uninsured or are looking for affordable health insurance to investigate the private health insurance plans available through state marketplaces (to find your state information visit the health care website). During open enrollment … Continue reading

The post Health Care – Health Insurance Open Enrollment Continues Through December 15 appeared first on The Capitol Insider.

In 2019, the NCE Steering Committee will welcome new leadership and new members. The steering committee serves as NCE’s governing body and is responsible for supporting the development and implementation of a robust professional development program for executives, management staff, … Continue reading

After two wonderful years, we bid farewell to Carrie Hobbs Guiden as our NCE Steering Committee Chair. Carrie reflected on her tenure as chair with us, as well as how to get more involved with NCE and take advantage of … Continue reading