On Wednesday, June 8, at 3:00 pm EDT, the National Disability Institute is hosting a webinar titled Exploring Bank of America’s “Better Money Habits”. The webinar will review the resources and information available on BetterMoneyHabits.com, a website developed by Bank of America in partnership with the Khan Academy. Register for the webinar here.
The U.S. Department of Education issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to implement key provisions of the new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) on May 26. This proposed regulation pertains to school accountability, data reporting, and consolidated state plans. The Arc is reviewing the proposed rule to consider whether it aligns with goals of making data accessible to families, ensuring students with disabilities are included in all school accountability systems, and resulting in effective interventions for children with disabilities if they are in a consistently underperforming subgroup. Comments to the Department are due on July 31. For more information, see the Department’s fact sheet, chart, and a press release.
The House passed a new version of the Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (HR 2576) on May 24. This bill would regulate chemicals so that they no longer present unreasonable risks of injury to health or the environment. In recent years, many chemicals commonly used in every day products have been linked to increased risks for learning and developmental disabilities as well as cancer, infertility, and obesity. If the Senate passes the bill, it will be the first major environmental legislation to pass Congress since the mid-1990s. While the legislation contains reforms that should enable the Environmental Protection Agency to tackle the most dangerous chemicals, it falls short of what public health advocates have sought. Learn more at http://saferchemicals.org/.
Last week, the House Committee on Ways and Means held a hearing on “Moving America’s Families Forward: Setting Priorities for Reducing Poverty and Expanding Opportunity”. Witnesses were former Governor John Engler, President of Business Roundtable; Karin VanZant, Executive Director of Life Services at CareSource; Olivia Golden, Executive Director of CLASP; and Tarren Bragdon, President and Chief Executive Officer at the Foundation for Government Accountability. Visit the Committee web site for more information and to review testimony and watch the archived video.
The ARCH National Respite Network and Resource Center is sponsoring a webinar, TimeBanking for Respite: An Innovative and Socially Just Approach to Supporting Family Caregivers on Wednesday, May 25, 2016 from 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm, EDT. This webinar will describe the history and philosophy of TimeBanking and describe how TimeBanks can be applied to the offering of respite care to family caregivers. Timebanking is based on the idea is that those receiving help can “pay” for the services they receive from others, not with money but time credits which they have earned by helping others. Edgar Cahn, CEO of TimeBanks USA, will provide an overview of the content, philosophy and functions of TimeBanks. Chris Gray, TimeBanks Special Projects Coordinator, will provide more details on how these principles can be applied to delivery of respite services. Register here.
The National Safe and Healthy Housing Coalition is holding a webinar to launch Find It, Fix It, Fund It: a Lead Elimination Action Drive on Wednesday, May 25, 2016 at 1:00 pm, EDT. The drive has four components: a National Roundtable to develop new policies and promote legislation and administrative advocacy; a Policy Workgroup focused on federal funding; a Grassroots Workgroup; and a Media Outreach Workgroup. Participants will have the opportunity to provide input and sign up for the drive’s components. Registerhere.
The National Resource Center on Supported Decision Making is sponsoring a webinar series, From Theory to Practice. On Wednesday, May 25 at 1:00 pm, EDT, the topic will be Supported Decision-Making in Education. Recent studies have found that educational professionals are the most common source of referrals for guardianship. This webinar will feature attorneys and advocates who have worked to include Supported Decision-Making and self-determination into school curriculums. They will tell stories of triumph and struggle that are applicable to professionals across the country. The presenters are Morgan K. Whitlatch, Legal Director at Quality Trust for Individuals with Disabilities and Project Director of the National Resource Center of Supported Decision-Making and Laura Smith Butler, Research Policy Administrator of National Core Indicators at the Human Development Institute, University of Kentucky. Register here.
The DOL released the much anticipated final Overtime rule on May 18, 2016, with an effective date of December 1, 2016. Along with the rule, DOL announced a non-enforcement policy for providers of Medicaid-funded services for individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities in residential homes and facilities with 15 or fewer beds. The full policy will be published in the Federal Register on May 23, 2016.
The non-enforcement policy will be in effect from December 1, 2016 (when the final rule goes into effect,) until March, 2019. This non-enforcement timeframe is intended to align with the implementation timeline of the Home and Community Based Settings final rule. This will allow Medicaid Home and Community Based Services providers who qualify to prepare for the implementation.
The Arc staff is in the midst of analyzing the rule and the non-enforcement policy more closely. The Arc staff anticipates, based on its review and the thoughtful questions received from chapters, seeking some further clarification from DOL in the very near future.
DOL has also released several documents for non-profits includingguidance and a shorter fact sheet. Additional resources can be found on DOL’swebsite. DOL will also be hosting several webinars to provide additional information: register here.
Last week, Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Charles Schumer (D-NY), and Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced the “Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act” (S. 2962). The bill would expand the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program by 50 percent, allowing the program to create or preserve approximately 1.3 million affordable homes over 10 years, or 400,000 more units than under the current program. The LIHTC program provides much-needed funding for construction and preservation of affordable housing across the United States.