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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

Sequestration Update for Centers

Centers for Independent Living (CILs) across the country are growing concerned and looking for guidance about how impending “sequestration” will affect funding for the Independent Living Program. The National Council on Independent Living Board of Directors is very concerned about the potential impact on Centers and is currently meeting in Washington, DC to address the issue. NCIL’s Board met yesterday with Michael Yudin, Acting Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, to discuss the cuts facing all federally funded programs becoming effective on Friday.  NCIL has also remained in contact with the appropriations committees in Congress and OMB regarding this matter, and here is what you need to know:

  • The law states that if a deal is not reached between Congress and the White House, sequestration and its contained automatic across-the-board cuts to spending could happen as early as March 1, 2013. However, the exact date that Centers could be affected remains unclear due to the nature of how the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) could implement the sequester.
  • Part C Funds: If sequestration happens, Centers across the United States could see a cut in funding of 5% or more. It is important to note that CILs are currently spending Part C funds that have already been appropriated, and the sequester would not affect any Part C funding until October 2013 at the earliest.
  • Part B Funds: If sequestration happens, Centers across the United States could see a cut in funding of 5% or greater as well. However, these funds could be affected as early as March 1, 2013. 

NCIL is urging our members to focus on current negotiations and decisions being made by Congress and the Administration, which could have meaningful consequences for Americans with disabilities. We want our members to remind Speaker Boehner and President Obama that solving problems at the expense of people with disabilities is not the answer, and things like Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, and other services enabling independent living must be protected. Even though these potential automatic cuts are across-the-board, urge them to preserve funds for the Independent Living Program within the Department of Education. Independent Living actually saves the government millions of dollars every year while improving quality of life for Americans with disabilities.

The NCIL Board and staff will continue to monitor the fiscal situation in Washington, and will keep our members updated about any new developments affecting Independent Living funding.

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