The Friday Fax

a weekly news bulletin from the National Parent Network on Disabilities
JULY 30, 1996 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Number 4/5

Update on IDEA

Senator Frist is committed to getting IDEA passed. As presented a Manger's package with 6 amendments to Senator Harkin. Harkin has responded with disability amendments. For the past 3 days Senator Frist has worked diligently to gain concurrence from his fellow Republican Senators. There appear to be more "bumps in the road." Senator Frist hopes to have the Manager's Package to the Floor of the Senate next week. The NPND staff has spoken with Senator Frist, personally, 3 days in a row. Senator Frist has committed himself to getting IDEA to the Floor and passed. Senator Frist described Sen. Harkin's response as a "moderate" package. Both Senators have committed themselves to getting IDEA to the Floor and passed.

Justice for All Rallies

Because of NPND's grueling pace with the Reauthorization of IDEA, the target date has been changed to October 26, 1996. Contact NPND for a Rally planning manual.

NPND Annual Meeting

The NPND Annual Meeting final agenda is coming together for September 28-29. The pre-conference training - Family Friendly Public Policy Workshop - is scheduled for all day September 27. We will be introducing one of our new projects called Bright Futures for Families. Stay tuned for more agenda updates in ech Friday Fax. Hotel reservations must be made no later tha August 26 to guarantee the roo rates. Contact NPND to register and for more information.
The Jospeh P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation is seeking applications for the Parent Public Policy Fellowship Program. Contact Steve Eidelman at the Kennedy Foundation at 202-393-1250.

HR 3467, Saving our Children: The American Community Renewal Act of 1996

This bill, which is co-sponsored by J.C. Watts (R-OK) and James Talent (R-MO), needs watching. The bill has at least 46 co-sponsors and Speaker Gingrich has promised a floor vote soon.

The part to be watched has to do with the use of vouchers for religious schools. HR 3467 permits private schools to admit students based on their religion, gender or disability. But there is a question of constitutionality and the compliance with the civil rights laws when religious schools are receiving public funds.

There is a joint hearing next Tuesday, July 30th in 1100 Longworth Building.

Mark-up on the Developmental Disabilities Assistance & Bill of Rights Act Reauthorization Bill

On July 24, 1996, the House of Representatives Commerce Committee exercised the voice vote option to pass the Senate version of the DD Act without any amendments. The Senate bill simply reauthorizes the DD Act for three additional years. On Monday the 29th, the DD Act will move to the House Floor, under suspended rules.

Unfunded Mandates Report Dropped - July 24, 1996

The Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (ACIR) voted (13-7) on tuesday not to approve their report on unfunded mandates. ACIR has run out of money, and faces a dismal fight to receive continued funding from Congress. You may recall we were able to get the ADA eliminated from the preliminary drafts of the report but the IDEA was still included. Clearly, the phone calls and other contacts have made an impression on the commission members. As of last week, we believed the commission had the votes to approve the report!
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