U.S. FORUM CONNECTION #169, JANUARY 2018
This publication is intended for your information about issues important to education, women and children.
This free newsletter is sponsored by the United States Forum of The Delta Kappa Gamma Society International. The Delta Kappa Gamma Society International is an organization of leading women educators with over 80,000 members. Delta Kappa Gamma members wishing to subscribe to this FREE newsletter should send a request to the editor Angela O. Bedenbaugh at Bedenbaugh.Angela@gmail.com. We urge you to share this newsletter with other interested individuals who are not members of Delta Kappa Gamma or members who do not subscribe to this publication.
NLS DEADLINE APPROACHES
The deadline for submitting a regular registration form to attend the National Legislative Seminar without a late fee is February 10, 2018. The registration form can be found at http://www.usforumdkg.org/uploads/4/4/6/6/44667559/nls_registration_2018_updated2.pdf. The main issues which will be addressed at the seminar are advocacy, violence against women, women’s health care, youth suicide awareness and prevention as well as human trafficking.
The RAISE Family Caregivers Act (H.R.3759, S.1028) which was introduced in both houses last year was signed by the President on January 22, 2018 after which it became Public Law No. 115-119. This bill directs the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop and make publicly available a National Family Caregiving Strategy that identifies recommended actions for recognizing and supporting family caregivers in a manner that reflects their diverse needs. Also HHS is to convene a Family Caregiving Advisory Council to advise the department on recognizing and supporting family caregivers. The council terminates after three years. There are several other bills dealing with caregiving for categories such as those with military injuries and Alzheimers patients. The Social Security Caregiver Credit Act of 2017 (S.1255) would give tax credit to caregivers to offset remuneration lost from job changes and other expenses incurred as result of caregiving in order to provide care to individuals handicapped either by illness such as Altheimers or severe injury. This bill has been referred to committee in the Senate. The Public Law 115-119 is a step in the right direction, but it does not provide any financial relief for caregivers.
Recently Congress seems to be close to an agreement which would extend the CHIP program for five or six years. The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is designed to fill the gap between low income groups that qualify for Medicaid and more affluent families who can afford health insurance. It is estimated that about 9 million children get health coverage under this program. Funding for this program is now being discussed in Congress which should soon reach agreement on a bill to be sent to the President for his signature. The current funding is due to expire March 31, but many states will run out of funds prior to that date or have already run out of money
The recent revelations about the sexual harassment involving the women’s gymnastics team at Michigan State University as well as the National Gymnastics team which represented the USA at the Olympics should be a wake-up call for all of us. Although the women and girls had complained for several years to parents and school administrators about what was happening to them, no action was taken. The legislation which should have protected these females is Title IX. As of January 31, 265 females have lodged complaints against Larry Nassar. Complaints have officially been lodged against Nassar and dismissed since 2004. This case illustrates why complaints by girls and young women should be taken seriously and investigated. It has been estimated that only about 20% of sexual assaults are reported.
In the past colleges and universities have been loath to tackle sexual assault on their campuses; because they feared the bad publicity would affect their enrollment. What has happened at Michigan State University will almost certainly lead to the uncovering of similar situations at other institutions of higher learning. Recently the Texas Attorney General has opened an investigation into what has been going on at the International Gymnastics Camp in Texas. Representative Susan Brooks and Senator Dianne Feinstein are currently working on legislation to address these abuses.
NEW PUBLICATION “SHE PERSISTED”
There is a new publication from Newsweek which is listed on Amazon as a book. It deals with women groundbreakers from Deborah Sampson (1782), Sacagawea (1804), Elizabeth Bennett (1813) and Harriet Tubman (1849) to Senator Larissa Waters, Yoshiko Shinohara and Senator Elizabeth Warren (2017) and includes Saudi Arabia allowing women to drive (2017). She Persisted also looks at movements such as the Women’s March, “Me Too” and “The Resistance.”
FORUM FACEBOOK PAGE LINK
For those of you desiring discussion of legislative topics there is a U. S. Forum Facebook page online at http://www.facebook.com/DKG.US.Forum
FORUM WEB SITE: http://www.usforumdkg.org/
CONTACTING YOUR LEGISLATOR
If you wish to contact your senator to express your opinion, you can call the Congressional Switchboard at 1-866-327-8670 [this is a toll free number]. Another way of contacting your senator is via email or a telephone number which is not toll free both of which are available at https://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm
Email access and addresses
http://www.house.gov/ for members of the House of Representatives http://www.senate.gov/ for members of the U.S. Senate
White House 1-202-456-1111
FIVE CONSTITUENT CONTACTS WILL CAUSE A LEGISLATOR TO PAY SERIOUS ATTENTION TO A GIVEN ISSUE.