Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Tuesday Quick Hits: Hot Policy Topics for This Week

North Carolina:

This week two different transportation committees will meet to address the infrastructure needs in our state.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

10:00 am, Joint Legislative Transportation Oversight Committee, 1228/1327 LB.
This is the standing Joint Legislative committee on transportation.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007
1:00pm 21st Century Transportation Committee, 544 LOB.
This is the 24 member panel that was chosen by Speaker Joe Hackney and Senate Pro-Tempore Senator Mark Basnight. This will be the third meeting of this committee. There will also be two subcommittee meetings held on the same day.
At 3:00pm the Transportation Finance Subcommittee will meet in 444 LOB and the Intergovernmental Subcommittee will meet in 415 LOB.
This committee is hoping to present a proposal to address their charge by the start of the short session.

Monday, December 10, 2007
North Carolina Building Code Council-Public Hearing
1:00pm, General Assembly Auditorium , Third Floor Legislative Building.


FY 2008 Appropriations:
Congress is putting together a major spending measure that is expected to be voted on in the House of Representatives on Tuesday. The bill would combine 11 separate spending bills for all federal agencies except for the Department of Defense, in hopes of averting the threat of a shutdown of government agencies. It appears that the Democrats would agree to give the President about $70 billion he has sought in interim financing for combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and not calling for a troop withdrawal in exchange for the President accepting about $11 billion in domestic spending that he has opposed. On Saturday, the Administration warned Congress not to go too far with additional spending or the President would veto the bill. Congressional leaders are hoping to vote on an agreement before the continuing resolution that is funding the federal government expires on Friday, December 14, 2007.

The House of Representatives will consider H.R. 3985, the Over-the-Road Bus Transportation Accessibility Act of 2007. This bill clarifies that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration can consider Americans with Disabilities Act compliance in determining whether a bus company is fit to operate in interstate commerce. The bill gives the Department of Transportation an extra tool to improve accessibility of the buses by making it a part of the licensing process.

ADA Restoration:
The ADA Restoration Act (H.R.3195 and S. 1881) continues to move forward. The House has added three new cosponsors for a total of 238 and maintained solid bipartisan support. Meanwhile, Senate Leadership staff will meet with members of the Disability Policy Collaboration and other CCD members to prepare for an upcoming push after the break. The DPC continues to meet with Senate and House staff to explain the need to restore Congress’ initial intent for the ADA, dispel concerns raised by opposition, and maintain momentum during what is expected to be a long, uphill battle.

Special thanks to DPC for the federal hot topics.

Announcements North Carolina Policy Events:
The North Carolina Council of Community Programs is hosting it’s two day meeting on Mental Health/Developmental Disabilities/Substance Abuses Service Reform in Pinehurst. This meeting will have break out session targeted at specific issues and changes regarding MH/DD/SAS Reform.

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