Capitol Correspondence - 03.31.20

Congress Passes Third COVID-19 Funding Bill with Key Provisions for Disability Supports

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On Friday the House passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which the Senate passed earlier. The President signed the bill later that afternoon, turning some concrete victories for the disability community into law. Thanks to passionate advocates – including over 27,000 individuals who used ANCOR’s action tools – the following provisions have taken effect:

  • Codification of “Margie & Isaiah’s Law”: This legislation, led by ANCOR and introduced in the House and Senate in late December and late January, respectively, enables disability service providers to be reimbursed by state Medicaid programs to pay direct support professionals who support individuals during short-term hospitalizations. See our statement on its passage here.
  • Eligibility of Medicaid-funded disability service providers for the Small Business Administration Disaster Loans Program: The program contains $560 billion to support businesses with under 500 employees that need financial support. ANCOR successfully fought prior attempts to make Medicaid-funded organizations ineligible through action alerts and coalition efforts such as this letter signed by over 270 organizations. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has produced a helpful infographic explaining these loans.Extension of funding for the Money Follows the Person (MFP) program through November 30, 2020. The program would otherwise run out of funding on May 22, 2020.
  • Emergency Funding for the Administration for Community Living (ACL), including $200,000,000 for states grants for support services under the Older Adults Act of 1965, Title III, Part B.

As we celebrate these important victories, we acknowledge that much more remains to be done, particularly with federal social isolation guidelines renewed until April 30. ANCOR remains steadfast in our commitment to advocate for the needs of people with disabilities and the providers who support them. While Congress has now recessed, it is expected to return in May to work on a fourth package – we are already laying the ground work for its return with a new action alert.