Hearing for subminimum wages, autism proposals cancelled

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News from Congress

The U.S. Senate, Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee abruptly canceled a hearing, scheduled for August 3, on two high profile bills affecting people with disabilities.

The hearing on the reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act, which includes a controversial provision to regulate subminimum wages, was postponed indefinitely, according to an article in Disability Scoop. The hearing on the Combating Autism Act, which provided millions to autism research and training and is set to expire September 30, was rescheduled for September 7.

The subminimum wage proposal, which has received both support and outrage from disability rights groups, would provide new safeguards for people with disabilities working for less than the minimum wage to ensure they are on track to move into competitive employment. While some organizations view the bill as a step forward for these workers, other advocacy groups are seeking to abolish subminimum wages for people with disabilites altogether.

The hearing would have allowed Congress a chance to hear the bills prior to its regular August recess.