The Friday Fax

a weekly news bulletin from the National Parent Network on Disabilities
DECEMBER 6, 1996 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Number 21

Leadership in the House of Representatives Begins to Take Shape

While the leadership of the House Economic and Educational Opportunities Committee will again remain with Rep. Goodling (R-19th/PA), new leadership has emerged at the helm of the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Youth and Families. Rep. Frank Riggs (R-1st/CA) is the new Chairman of the subcommittee. On the other side of the aisle, it appears that the leadership of the subcommittee will be passed from Rep. Kildee (D-9th/MI) to Rep. Martinez (D-39th/CA). FF was unable to secure a full list of the committee by time of writing. We will provide that information as soon as we have it.

Keep those Petitions Flowing

NPND has received a goodly number of petitions from folks around the states. However through an oversight by us here at the FF, there is no clear place for organizations to "sign on". Hence, we have received a lot of individual signatures but few organization "sign ons". Please feel free to modify the petition in anyway that makes sense in your community or state so that when organizations "sign on" it can be reflected on the petition as such. During the remainder of 1996 and during the first month of 1997 please focus on organizational "sign ons". You're doing great work! Keep it up! Keep those petitions coming in!!! FF will provide a summary of what we have received so far just after the New Year.

Senate Determines Leadership

The new makeup of the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee is:
Sen. Jeffords, Chair; Sen. Coate; Sen. Gregg; Sen. Frist; Sen. DeWine; Sen. Tim Hutchinson; Sen. Enzi; Sen. Collins; Sen. Warner; Sen. McConnel

Sen. Kennedy, Ranking Minority; Sen. Dodd; Sen. Harkin; Sen. Mikulski; Sen. Wellstone; Sen. Bingaman; Sen. Boxer; Sen. Reed.

It is not clear who will chair the Subcommittee on Disability Policy or if there will even be such a subcommittee. Sen. Frist (R-TN) chaired the subcommittee during the 104th Congress.

The impact of the leadership changes upon the reauthorization of the IDEA is, as yet, unclear. In future issues of the FF we will profile the new leaders in light of the issues facing us in the upcoming session.

NPND Welcomes New Board Members

The NPND Board Elections were held last week. The Board now has three new members. They are:

Terry Dawson, WY PIC, Buffalo, WY
Doris Husted, PRO, Los Lunas, NM
Mary Lacorte, ECAC, Davidson, NC
Janet Vohs, Federation for Children with Special Needs, Boston, MA, was elected to a second term.

Our congratulations goes out to them along with our great appreciation for their willingness to serve.

IDEA Reauthorization on Different Tracks

Based on conversations with hill staff and administration officials, it appears that both the House of Representatives and the administration would like to "fast track" the reauthorization of the IDEA while the Senate may first turn it's attention to the reauthorization of the Rehab. Act and take up the IDEA reauthorization later in the session.

It appears that the House will introduce it's bill during the week of January 7 and that the administration will either put it's bill on the street prior to that date or at about the same time. It does not appear that the administration will seek the broad based input that it did the last time around. It is likely that both the House and Administration bills will closely resemble the bills they produced during the 104th Congress.

The situation in the Senate is much less clear. It appears that no one wants to relive the tortuous process that the reauthorization of the IDEA went through last year. Yet the issues that drove that process remain unresolved. Hence, no action on the IDEA reauthorization is expected in the Senate any time soon.

Our sincerest condolences go out to the family and friends of Renee & David Whaley on the death of David Whaley, Jr. The Whaley family wishes that good thoughts are continued for David and the lives that he touched. Donations may be made in David's name to the Family Network on Disabilities of Florida, Inc. , 2735 Whitney Rd., Clearwater, FL 34620
NPND * 1727 King Street, Suite 305 * Alexandria, VA 22314
(703)684-6763 (V/TDD) * (703)836-1232 (fax) * *