Monday, December 3, 2007

Monday Quick Hits: Hot Policy Topics for This Week.

North Carolina:

The Joint Education Legislative Oversight Committee will hold its first two meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week December 4 and 5, 2007. This meeting is open to the public and will be held in room 544 LOB.

Wednesday December 5, 2007 will be the next Joint Legislative MH/DD/SAS committee meeting. On the agenda for this meeting will be the following items:
Reduction in State Hospitals Utilization Pilot-Mecklenburg LME
Community Support Services Update
LME Service Dollars Allocation
Revised Allocated Methodology Report
Update on Construction/Repair of State Facilities
Revised Dorothea Dix and John Umstead Hospitals Closure Plan

Monday December 3, 2007 the Children’s Fatality Task Force met to review the progress of the individual subcommittees.

U.S. Congress

Congress has returned to work. There will be at least two to three weeks of session before Christmas and the end of the year. Congress will be working on major policy issues for the disability community. These issues include the Labor, Education, Health and Human Services Appropriations, SCHIP and the Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act.

Fiscal Year 2008 Appropriations
As the third month of FY 2008 starts, the Congress and the White House have been able to agree on only one of a dozen FY 2008 appropriations bills (the Department of Defense appropriations bill). The funding showdown between the Congress and the President continues. Thus far, the White House has refused to negotiate compromises since it believes the Congress will be unable to override any of the President’s vetoes of appropriations bills (one override vote has already failed). The House and Senate Democratic leadership has already offered to split the difference between the $23 billion spending impasse, but the White House remains silent on a deal. One possible key to breaking the stalemate would be to link emergency spending for the Iraq war with a huge omnibus appropriations bill. As of today, there is no schedule for specific action on any appropriations bill. Future funding for all disability programs hang on the upcoming decisions.

The Arc of North Carolina:
On Tuesday, December 4, 2007 The Arc of North Carolina will be hosting a ribbon cutting for Opening Doors Supportive Apartments in Durham. Partial funding for these apartment units came from the Housing 400 Initiative/North Carolina Housing Finance Agency.

Representative Paul Leubke will be honored by the North Carolina Human rights Coalition at an award ceremony this Thursday, December 6, 2007. Congratulation Representative Leubke.

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