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March 6, 2023

Senator Casey Introduces the Better Care Better Jobs Act

On January 26th, Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) introduced the Better Care Better Jobs Act (S.100).  The bill is originally cosponsored by 39 Democratic Senators. The bill will increase Medicaid funding for Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) with a 10 percent increase in the federal match, increased funding for administrative activities, provide more benefits for direct care workers, improve oversight, make spousal impoverishment protections permanent, and will make the Money Follows the Person program permanent. The bill will improve HCBS for millions of people with disabilities, their families, and direct support professionals. The bill has been referred to the Senate Finance Committee.

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Senator Casey (D-PA) introduced the Better Care Better Jobs Act in the Senate. This bill makes changes to and gives states more money so they can improve HCBS. The bill is currently in the Senate Finance Committee.

Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, Pensions Seeking Comments on Workforce Shortages

On February 16th, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions held a hearing “Examining Health Care Workforce Shortages: Where Do We Go From Here?” The hearing looked to address the causes of the current healthcare workforce shortages, and to look for potential solutions. The HELP Committee is looking to identify bipartisan solutions to address our nation’s healthcare workforce shortages and develop these ideas into legislation. The HELP Committee is requesting input from all stakeholders to better understand the drivers of healthcare workforce shortages and hear ideas on potential solutions. You can submit your written comments and suggestions to by March 20th.

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On February 16th, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee held a hearing on how to increase the number of health care workers. The HELP committee is asking the public to submit ideas and solutions.  You can submit to by March 20th.

Transformation to Competitive Integrated Employment Act

On February 27th, Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Senator Steve Daines (R-MT), Representative Cathy McMorris Rogers (R-WA-5), and Representative Bobby Scott (D-VA-3) introduced the Transformation to Competitive Integrated Employment Act (S. 533 / H.R. 1263). The bill will phase-out the use of subminimum wage that is currently legal under Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The bill will also provide technical assistance to assist employers in transforming their business models to support people with disabilities in competitive integrated employment.

The introduction of this bill comes shortly after the U.S. Government Accountability Office released a report titled Subminimum Wage Program: DOL Could Do More to Ensure Timely Oversight on the lack of oversight for subminimum wage programs. 

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This bill that will stop employers from paying people with disabilities less than minimum wage. Current law allows certain employers to pay workers with disabilities below the minimum wage. This bill will stop this from happening, so people with disabilities can have jobs and careers that pay a living wage.

The National Center on People with Developmental Disabilities and Mental Health Conditions Seeks Steering Committee

The Administration for Community Living (ACL) has launched a new Center to improve support for people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (I/DD) who have mental health conditions. The Center through a cooperative agreement with the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services is guided by people with lived experience and “will focus on capacity building by supporting state agencies with policy development, service design, and service coordination resources.”

The Center is recruiting for its steering committee. The steering committee of 12 people will meet 4 times per year. Steering committee members and, if needed, their support staff will be paid to participate. If you are interested in joining the committee, email by March 17th. Learn more about the Center.

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ACL has started a new Center to support people with I/DD who also have mental health conditions.  The new Center is looking for members to join a committee to help plan the work of the Center. If you are interested in joining the committee, email by March 17th.

New Resource: Need Updated Data about People with Disabilities?

The Institute on Disability at the University of New Hampshire (NH UCEDD) has released the 2023 Annual Disability Statistics Compendium, Annual Disability Statistics Supplement, and State Reports for County-level Data. The web-based tools provide a range of disability statistics.