Major Recent Events
House Committee Holds Hearing Addressing MFP; Advocates Hold Briefing
On September 5, the House Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing on several bipartisan health initiatives, including reauthorization of the Money Follows the Person (MFP) Demonstration Program. Witnesses testifying on MFP were Curtis Cunningham, Vice President, National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities; and Matt Salo, Executive Director, National Association of Medicaid Directors. Visit the Committee web site
for more information or to view archived video of the hearing.
On September 6, The Arc and other advocacy organizations held a briefing for Congressional staff on reauthorization of MFP. Nicole Jorwic, Director of Rights Policy at The Arc was the moderator of the briefing. Speakers were John McCarthy, Founding Partner at Speire Healthcare Strategies, Former Medicaid Director in Ohio and DC; Margaret Gartlgruber, Vice President at RHA Health Services; Mike Oxford, Executive Director for Policy, Topeka Independent Living Resource Center; and Tyree Brown, a person who transitioned back home in Maryland. MFP provides grants to states to transition people from institutions to community based settings. According to a report
from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, this program has helped over 63,000 people transition into the community and saved Medicare and Medicaid almost $1 billion as of 2013. The Arc strongly supports reauthorization of MFP.
House and Senate Conference Considers Changes to SNAP in Farm Bill
This summer, the House and Senate enacted separate versions of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (H.R. 2
; commonly known as the “Farm Bill”), to reauthorize farm programs and policy as well as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
. The House’s version proposes major cuts
to basic food assistance under SNAP, while the Senate’s bipartisan bill
does not include the House’s proposed cuts to SNAP. Last week, the Farm Bill Conference held a public meeting. Conferees shared perspectives on their efforts to produce an agreement between the House and Senate to reauthorize the Farm Bill before the current authorization expires on September 30, 2018
. Visit the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry for archived video
of the meeting.
In a recent op ed published in The Hill
, The Arc’s Senior Director of Income and Housing Policy, T.J. Sutcliffe, and the Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality’s co-executive director, Indivar Dutta-Gupta, wrote: “The House’s partisan approach and deep cuts to SNAP not only conflict with decades of bipartisan Congressional support for the program, but also are widely opposed. Using the Senate bill as a springboard, Congress should work in a bipartisan manner to produce a final bill that strengthens SNAP, rather than decimates it.” Visit The Hill to read the full op ed
Senate Holds Hearing on Kavanaugh Nomination
Last week, the Senate Judiciary held a four-day hearing on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court. The first three days involved questioning on Judge Kavanaugh himself. The fourth day involved additional witnesses, including Elizabeth Weintraub, Advocacy Specialist at the Association of University Centers on Disabilities, and Jackson Corbin, a 13-year-old with Noonan Syndrome. Ms. Weintraub testified
about the importance of self-determination to her as a woman with intellectual disability and Judge Kavanaugh’s ruling in Doe Tarlow v. District of Columbia, in which he concluded that people with intellectual disability who have “never been competent” do not have a right to even have their wishes heard or considered in medical decisions (see and share video
of her testimony). Jackson’s testimony
related to the importance of the Affordable Care Act to his mother, his brother, and himself, all of whom have Noonan Syndrome, which comes with multiple pre-existing conditions. Visit the Committee web site (Day 1
, Day 2
, Day 3
, Day 4
) for more information or to view archived video of the hearing. The Arc opposes
Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination.
$99 Million Awarded for New Housing Vouchers for People with Disabilities
Last week, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded $98.5 million to 285 public housing authorities across the U.S. to provide new, permanent affordable housing vouchers to nearly 12,000 non-elderly people with disabilities. The vouchers will be provided through the Section 811 Mainstream Housing Choice Voucher Program which assists non-elderly people with disabilities who are transitioning out of institutional or other segregated settings; at serious risk of institutionalization; homeless; or at risk of becoming homeless. Click here
for a comprehensive list of awards, by state. Visit the Technical Assistance Collaborative resource page
to learn more about this program and (when announced) upcoming opportunities for housing authorities to apply for additional funding.
Report on ESSA Equity Indicators Released
The Learning Policy Institute has released a report
titled “Making ESSA’s Equity Promise Real: State Strategies to Close the Opportunity Gap” on the use of suspension rates, school climate, chronic absenteeism, extended-year graduation rate, and access to a college-and career-ready curricula in their accountability systems under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Students with disabilities face disparities on all five of these measures. Find out if your state is using these factors in its accountability system with these interactive maps