In The Politics of Autism, I discuss the issue's role in campaign politics. In the 2016 campaign, a number of posts discussed Trump's bad record on science and disability issues more generally.
On March 22, the House approved a $1.3 trillion FY18 omnibus spending package by a vote of 256-167. The bill then moved to the Senate where it passed on a vote of 65-32. President Trump signed it on Friday afternoon after briefly threatening to veto the bill which would have led to a government shutdown. The bill includes all 12 annual appropriations bills and will fund federal government programs through the fiscal year ending September 30. See the full text of the spending bill and the Labor-HHS-Ed text that includes most programs impacting people with disabilities.
The Autism Society is pleased to report that the bill provides level-funding or small increases for many of the programs that support people with disabilities. It also rejects many of the cuts proposed in the President’s FY 2018 Budget.
In addition, the bill includes one of the Autism Society’s top legislative goals — Kevin and Avonte’s Law (H.R. 4421/S. 2070). The Autism Society published a statement following the bill’s signing. “We are pleased that the appropriations bill includes the Kevin and Avonte’s Law, a legislative priority for our organization for the last four years, said Scott Badesch, Autism Society President and Chief Executive Officer. “Kevin and Avonte’s Law will infuse necessary funding to states to train first responders and help families supporting people with autism or other disabilities who tend to wander, sometimes resulting in death or injuries.” The Autism Society will be sending thank you letters to the bill’s sponsors and urges its affiliates to do the same.
The Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) Fiscal Policy Task Force provided a table with selected line-items showing percentage changes in program funding within the final funding bill. The table shows increases ranging from 1.6% to 40%. About one-third see no increase (which is a cut when factoring in inflation).