Recently Senate Bill 1604, Transition to Independence, was introduced in Washington by Senator Grassley (R-IA), and co-sponsored by Senator Casey (D-PA). While it immediately raised red flags for vocational providers, after a careful read and review with ACCSES (one of our national partner associations), we do believe this legislation can be helpful – provided some modifications are made. The RCPA summary and response to the bill, which we were able to present recently to Senator Casey’s lead staff in DC, is available online. Review the actual bill here.

Last week, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), together with Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), introduced S. 1604, Transition to Independence Medicaid Buy-In Option, bipartisan legislation which would, as stated in Senator Grassley’s press release, “create a demonstration project to encourage states to improve opportunities for individuals with disabilities to obtain employment in the community, gaining self-determination, independence, productivity, and integration and inclusion.”  Ten states, over a period of five years, would receive bonus payments for meeting benchmarks which are outlined in the bill’s technical summary. We will continue to monitor and set up applicable meetings. Contact Jack Phillips, RCPA Director of Government Affairs with questions.

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National behavioral health legislative activities:
www.thenationalcouncil.org – National Council for Behavioral Health


Pennsylvania state legislative affairs:
www.legis.state.pa.us – Pennsylvania General Assembly; legislation; bill histories
www.pahousegop.com – Pennsylvania House of Representatives (Republicans)
www.pahouse.com – Pennsylvania House of Representatives (Democrats)
www.pasenate.com – Democratic Caucus
www.pasenategop.com – Republican Caucus


Pennsylvania’s Office of Governor and state agencies:
www.state.pa.us – Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Home Page
www.dhs.state.pa.us – Pennsylvania Department of Human Services
www.doh.state.pa.us – Pennsylvania Department of Health
www.aging.state.pa.us – Pennsylvania Department of Aging
www.doi.state.pa.us – Pennsylvania Department of Insurance
www.pacode.com – Pennsylvania State Code (no statutes or acts)
www.pabulletin.com – The Pennsylvania Bulletin (weekly publication regarding rulemaking)


Pennsylvania’s statewide elected officials:
www.attorneygeneral.gov – Pennsylvania’s Office of Attorney General
www.paauditor.gov – Pennsylvania’s Office of Auditor General
www.treasury.state.pa.us – Pennsylvania’s Office of Treasurer


Other states’ homepages and related activities:
www.50states.com – listing of information for each of the 50 states, including individual state home pages
www.capwiz.com/lwv/officials/state/?lvl=C&state=pa – links to elected officials in Pennsylvania supplied by the League of Women Voters


Federal legislation and agencies:
www.dhhs.gov – US Department of Health and Human Services
www.samhsa.gov – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (agency of the US Department of Health and Human Services)
www.firstgov.gov – accessibility to federal legislation; the Executive Branch; other states’ information
www.whitehouse.gov – information regarding the President, Executive Offices, etc.
http://thomas.loc.gov – accessibility to federal legislation


Media information:
www.pcntv.com – Pennsylvania Cable Network (Pennsylvania public affairs)
www.pnpa.com – Pennsylvania Newspaper Association (links to all newspapers available online)
www.abcnews.com – American Broadcasting Company
www.cnn.com – Cable News Network
www.msnbc.com – Microsoft/National Broadcasting Company
www.foxnews.com – Fox News Company
www.nytimes.com – The New York Times newspaper
www.washingtonpost.com – The Washington Post newspaper
www.pennlive.com – The Harrisburg Patriot newspaper and other PA papers