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AIRS Conference WASHINGTON UPDATE ISSUES IN I&R Bob Blancato May 25, 2010.

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Presentation on theme: "AIRS Conference WASHINGTON UPDATE ISSUES IN I&R Bob Blancato May 25, 2010."— Presentation transcript:

1 AIRS Conference WASHINGTON UPDATE ISSUES IN I&R Bob Blancato May 25, 2010

2 AIRS 2010 Conference Pleased to serve as public policy consultants to AIRS Public Policy Committee working on variety of issues of interest to our members in this second session of 111 th Congress

3 Calling for 2-1-1 Calling for 211 Act: Feeling more optimism about prospects for passage of this legislation. Based in part on the work done by AIRS and UW and 211 on something grassroots can influenceco-sponsors. Started 2010 with 180 House co-sponsors and today we have 237. Number of factors led to this increase including the AIRS 211 for 211 by 2/11.

4 Calling for 2-1-1 Continued… To view co-sponsor list, go to and type in S.211/ Strategy always about getting above a majority of the House to force action on the bill either in Committee or directly to the House floor. Helped that in House, Committee members are co-sponsors as well. Conversations ongoing about moving H.R. 211 forward. If it moves through Energy and Commerce Committee (of which 37 members are co-sponsors), hope would be to attach the Information and Referral Day resolution (, search H.Res.187)

5 Calling for 2-1-1 Continued… Senate side also good progress to report Here there are 60 co-sponsors including 18 co- sponsors from the HELP Committee which has jurisdiction. Options for what could happen to 211 in 2010: Normal process, hearings, Committee action, floor votes in House and Senate. Attach to another bill of a more must pass variety such as renewing 911 or possibly disaster related legislation.

6 Key to the effort is to continue to localize and humanize this issue. Updated data on calls. Updated data on what kinds of assistance is being asked for and where the greatest increases are. Connect members of Congress to their local 2-1-1.

7 FY 2011 Appropriations Other issues of importance include FY 2011 appropriations: Obama has requested an additional $50 million for the Title III B program in the Older Americans Act. AIRS is in support of this funding request and is working with Congress to see that it is included. As of this session, appropriations picture is unclear in the absence of a Budget resolution but situation will be monitored.

8 Taxonomy AIRS has communicated to CMS on the issue of a contract they have issued for the development of a possible new taxonomy related to home and community based services. The AIRS letter urges that the existing AIRS taxonomy be considered before any decision to go to new taxonomy is made. Response is pending.

9 Health Care Reform AIRS public policy committee and staff continue to monitor implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Our monitoring focused on opportunities that may exist for conveying information to people using I&R network. Early attention on a proposed consumer call center within HHS to provide health care information. In addition, the 5 year extension of Aging and Disability Resource Centers will be important to the I&R field.

10 Health Care Reform Cont… We will look toward the implementation of the Elder Justice Act and its provisions aimed at providing education and raising awareness about elder abuse and the role of I&R. For ongoing information on health care reform go to

11 Older Americans Act Reauthorization AIRS will continue to work on the upcoming reauthorization of the Older Americans Act scheduled for 2011. AIRS through Bob Blancato has participated in several of the official listening sessions convened by the Administration on Aging and called for more coordination and integration of legal, pension, counseling, enhanced I&R and benefits counseling. AIRS Public Policy Committee is working to finalize AIRS OAA Reauthorization Principles.

12 Broadband, FCC and Other Items of Interest AIRS is also monitoring various developments related to broadband and policies and rules being issued by the FCC. In particular, issues related to the switching of consumers to bundled services and the impact it could have on 2-1-1. AIRS is also considering submitting comments related to the Connect America Fund, A National Broadband Plan for Our Future an effort which the FCC is leading to increase access to broadband in underserved areas.

13 911 Legislation The Congressional E 911 Caucus which is co- chaired by H.R. 211 author Anna Eshoo introduced legislation in March 2010 called the Next Generation 9-1-1- Preservation Act of 2010 to upgrade the 9-1-1 call center technology and to reauthorize key grants and programs to ensure continued funding for the 6,000 9-1-1 centers and programs. Bill numbers are H.R.4829 and S.3115

14 FEMA and Disaster Legislation Disaster Relief and Summer Jobs Act of 2010 (H.R.4899)-Passed by the House in March- Makes emergency supplemental appropriations for FY2010 to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for disaster relief. We will continue to monitor this legislation along with any other disaster related legislation that may be introduced.

15 Thank you We invite all of you to become involved in AIRS Public Policy as local advocates. Advocacy is both a national and grassroots effort. Please direct further questions to or visit ageid=3380 ageid=3380

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