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Independent Living Program

 
  
   

Information     Alert: President’s Budget Requests Increase in IL Funding    

   

President Obama’s FY16 budget was released     today, and it includes a request for $111 million for the Independent     Living Program. This is a $5 million increase over the FY15 enacted level,     and it is the first time in many years that such a request has been made.

   

The President’s Budget intends to     strengthen middle class economics, and the Administration has acknowledged     that Americans with disabilities must share in the nation’s economic     prosperity. The White House has released a fact sheet entitled Expanding Opportunities for     People with Disabilities (PDF) that outlines how the President’s Budget     works toward that. In addition to the IL program funding increase, there     are specific focuses on extending the Money Follows the Person Rebalancing     demonstration and expanding eligibility for the Community First Choice and     1915 (I) HCBS state plan options. Additionally, the Budget addresses     transition for youth with disabilities, improvements to the VR system,     access to HCBS long term services and supports through ADRCs, HUD Section     811 expansion, and new transit investments.

   

NCIL has been pushing Congress and the     Administration to invest an additional $200 million in the Independent     Living program. While we are happy to see the President’s Budget request an     increase, it certainly does not go far enough. Furthermore, the President’s     Budget is only a request, and these increases need to make their way into     the House and Senate budget resolutions as well. 

   

The IL Program is one of our country’s most     important investments, and we need to ensure that the FY16 budget includes     an increase in funding. In order for this to happen, Congress needs to hear     from you! Make sure our voices are heard. Call or visit your Senators and     Representatives so they can better understand how vital the IL Program is     to their constituents around the country. It is essential that we keep     Independent Living in the conversation as Congress works to develop the     FY16 budget!    

   

Independent Living Program in White House Budget

 
  
   

Information     Alert: President’s Budget Requests Increase in IL Funding    

   

President Obama’s FY16 budget was released     today, and it includes a request for $111 million for the Independent     Living Program. This is a $5 million increase over the FY15 enacted level,     and it is the first time in many years that such a request has been made.

   

The President’s Budget intends to     strengthen middle class economics, and the Administration has acknowledged     that Americans with disabilities must share in the nation’s economic     prosperity. The White House has released a fact sheet entitled Expanding Opportunities for     People with Disabilities (PDF) that outlines how the President’s Budget     works toward that. In addition to the IL program funding increase, there     are specific focuses on extending the Money Follows the Person Rebalancing     demonstration and expanding eligibility for the Community First Choice and     1915 (I) HCBS state plan options. Additionally, the Budget addresses     transition for youth with disabilities, improvements to the VR system,     access to HCBS long term services and supports through ADRCs, HUD Section     811 expansion, and new transit investments.

   

NCIL has been pushing Congress and the     Administration to invest an additional $200 million in the Independent     Living program. While we are happy to see the President’s Budget request an     increase, it certainly does not go far enough. Furthermore, the President’s     Budget is only a request, and these increases need to make their way into     the House and Senate budget resolutions as well. 

   

The IL Program is one of our country’s most     important investments, and we need to ensure that the FY16 budget includes     an increase in funding. In order for this to happen, Congress needs to hear     from you! Make sure our voices are heard. Call or visit your Senators and     Representatives so they can better understand how vital the IL Program is     to their constituents around the country. It is essential that we keep     Independent Living in the conversation as Congress works to develop the     FY16 budget!    

   

"Bright Spots" Health Research Project

ARC Joins Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky on Innovative “Bright Spots” Health Research Project

February 2015

   
 

WASHINGTON,February 2, 2015—The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky are working together on a new three-year "bright spots" health research project to learn about factors that support a culture of health in Appalachian communities and to determine if that knowledge can be translated into actions that address health disparities between Appalachia and the nation as a whole. The project, "Creating a Culture of Health in Appalachia: Disparities and Bright Spots," will run through the end of 2017.

The project will identify Appalachian areas, or "bright spots," where health outcomes are better than would be expected based on unemployment and poverty rates and other community factors. Experts will then seek to determine the factors that help cause health outcomes in specific communities to be better than expected. The project will also seek to determine why health outcomes in some communities are not as good as would be expected, based on a series of community data points.

"The 'Bright Spots' project is a significant opportunity to learn from Appalachian communities that are building a culture of health in the face of economic hardship," said David Krol, MD, MPH, FAAP, senior program officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. "Through this project, we hope to highlight Appalachian approaches to improving health outcomes and spread them to other communities in the Region. We're thrilled to support this important work."

ARC Federal Co-Chair Earl F. Gohl welcomed the opportunity to engage with foundation partners in this critical regional effort: "The Appalachian Regional Commission is very pleased to be partnering with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky in not only looking at health disparities in the Region but also seeking to determine factors that cause outcomes in specific communities. This new and innovative project will enable public and private stakeholders to more effectively target health interventions."

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is providing $750,000 for the project, and ARC will contribute $250,000, for a combined project award of $1 million. The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky will administer the project.

"This groundbreaking effort will provide a deeper understanding of factors that contribute to or undermine community health," said Susan Zepeda, president and CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. " 'Bright spots' allow us to go beyond the data on economic and health status to community conversations and help us learn more about what's important for an enduring local culture of health."

The project will produce a database that documents and overlays county-level health and economic data and identifies "bright spots" that show positive health outcomes despite economic hardship; conduct qualitative explorations with local leaders to help explain the findings; and develop policy-based user tools, including a Web site featuring data sets and a GIS-based tool to aid in visualizing research outcomes and community profiles. The project will also examine policy implications and make implementation recommendations.

A request for proposals to conduct this work will be issued in March 2015.

Promise Zone in White House Budget

Partnering With Communities to Expand Opportunity – The Budget improves the coordination of resources to meet unique community needs and growth opportunities, including through the Administration's Promise Zones initiative, which is creating partnerships between the Federal Government, local communities, and businesses to create jobs, increase economic security, expand educational opportunities, increase access to quality, affordable housing, and improve public safety.  The President named the first five Promise Zones in 2014 and will designate an additional 15 Zones by the end of calendar year 2016. In support of Promise Zones, the Budget requests $250 million for the Department of Housing and Urban Development's Choice Neighborhoods program and $150 million for the Department of Education's Promise Neighborhoods program. The Budget also includes Promise Zone tax incentives to stimulate growth and investments in targeted communities.

Supporting Innovative Projects to Improve Upward Mobility – Building on Promise Zones, the budget also includes a new initiative, the Upward Mobility Project, that will allow up to ten communities, States or consortia of States and communities to combine funds from four existing block grant programs designed to promote opportunity and economic development and reduce poverty to test and validate promising approaches to help families become more self-sufficient, improve children's outcomes, and revitalize communities so they can provide more opportunities for their residents. Projects must utilize evidence-based strategies, track program performance, and evaluate intervention effectiveness. The funding streams that States and communities can apply to use – including the Department of Health and Human Services' Social Services Block Grant and Community Services Block Grant, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development's Community Development Block Grant, and HOME Investment Partnerships Program – share a common goal of promoting opportunity and reducing poverty. In addition to these funds, participating communities will be eligible to receive a total of $1.5 billion in new funding over five years, to combine with the added flexibility with currently provided resources.

  

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