Friday Fax #157
SEPTEMBER 24, 1999....................................................................................... NO. 157




* Juvenile Justice Legislation-IDEA Amendments.The latest news is that the conference committee assigned to resolve the differences between the House and Senate juvenile justice bills (H.R. 1501 and S. 254) did NOT meet on Thursday, 23 September, as planned. This provides us with more time to act!!!! As reported in previous Friday Faxes, both bills contain weakening amendments to IDEA that would result in the cessation of educational services for children with disabilities who bring guns/weapons to school. Sen. Kennedy (D-MA) plans to offer a substitute motion to require states to provide educational and other services to students who bring guns to school.

Amendments to IDEA are not relevant to the juvenile justice legislation. Kicking troubled youth with disabilities out of school with no services will make communities more dangerous, not safer. The 1997 amendments to IDEA already provide schools with the authority to remove dangerous students. Any student with or without a disability who brings a weapon to school CAN be immediately removed! If Congress insists on making sure kids are treated "equally," then the better policy would be to make sure NO child is kicked out of school without appropriate alternative services. Congress should stop blaming children with disabilities for schools' problems. Not one of the students involved in recent school shootings was a special education student. Providing services and supports to troubled students will make schools and communities much safer than giving these youngsters a free vacation without supervision!


If there are conferees from your state on the juvenile justice legislation (see list below), urge them to support Sen. Kennedy's motion to provide appropriate services and supports to any student who violates school gun rules under the juvenile justice legislation.

Conferees to H.R. 1501 and S. 254

Representatives: Billy Tauzin R-LA Carolyn McCarthy D-NY
Chairman Hyde R-IL Michael Bilirakis R-FL William Clay D-MO
Bill McCollum R-FL Tom Bliley R-VA Dale Kildee D-MI
George Gekas R-PA Bob Barr R-GA John Dingell D-MI
Howard Coble R-NC Jim Greenwood R-PA Senators:
Lamar Smith R-TX John Conyers Jr D-MI Strom Thurmond R-SC
Charles Canady R-FL Barney Frank D-MA Orrin Hatch R-UT
Bill Goodling R-PA Bobby Scott D-VA Jeff Sessions R-AL
Thomas Petri R-WI Howard Berman D-CA Ted Kennedy D-MA
Michael Castle R-DE Zoe Lofgren D-CA Patrick Leahy D-VT


Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121; Websites: / /

* The House Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations Bill The Subcommittee Panel marked up FY 2000 spending bill for the House Labor, Health and Human Services and Education programs on Thursday, 23 September. This bill covers the appropriations for the Developmental Disabilities (DD) Act programs. It is the biggest of the domestic spending bills. For the full details of the mark up access: and select the "News Releases" link. You may also access the NPND website. If you do not have access to the Internet contact the NPND offices at 202-463-2299 and a copy can be faxed to you.

* Developmental Disabilities (DD) Act Reauthorization Senate staff of Senators Jeffords' (R-VT), Kennedy' (D-MA) and Harkin's (D-IA) offices are continuing to meet with Legislative Counsel (the official bill drafters) regarding the DD Act. The Senate hopes to put the bill on a fast track and have it considered on the consent calendar, which requires a unanimous vote. The Senate further hopes the House will introduce the same bill to expedite passage. This is the "best case scenario." NPND will inform you as soon as the latest Senate provisions are known.

* Managed Care Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert (R-Il) has announced that the House will consider managed care consumer protection legislation the week of October 4th. NPND supports the Norwood-Dingell bill entitled the Bipartisan Consensus Managed Care Act of 1999 (H.R. 2723). Its provisions include access to specialty care, continuity of care protections, access to prescription drugs not in a plan's formulary if it is shown that a drug, other than those offered by the plan, is medically indicated, and access to fair remedies if a health plan decision causes harm.


Contact your Representatives and urge their support for H.R. 2723.
CONTACT INFORMATION Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121 or

* Work Incentives Improvement Act (WIIA) There are now 240 cosponsors of H.R 1180. House Leadership must continue to hear from people with disabilities, their families and advocates about the critical need to move H.R. 1180 now. President Clinton included WIIA in a speech he delivered earlier in the month outlining his health care priorities. He spoke very strongly about the need to pass the legislation saying "... we cannot walk away from this session of Congress without passing this legislation."


Contact your Representatives and ask them to support H.R. 1180 and to urge House leadership to move it to the House floor for a vote.

CONTACT INFORMATION Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121 or

* National Family Caregiver Support Act Earlier this year Senator Grassley (R-IA) introduced the National Family Caregiver Support Act (S. 707). It would establish a national family caregivers support program that would help the states create an array of resources to assist family members who are providing care and support to elders with chronic disabilities. It would also obligate states to assist aging caregivers who provide support to persons with developmental disabilities. S. 707 has been rolled into H.R. 782, the Older Americans Act reauthorization. The House Education and the Workforce Committee recently approved the reauthorization bill by a voice vote. The funding aspect is now under consideration.