CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
H.R. 5220 is expected to be considered on the floor of the House of Representatives on May 19, 2010, under suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds vote for passage. Rep. Hoyer (D-MD) introduced H.R. 5220 on May 5, 2010, and it was referred to the Committee on Education and Labor, the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and the Committee on Energy and Commerce.
H.R. 5220: (1) reauthorizes the Special Olympics Sport and Empowerment Act of 2004, (2) creates a new federal grant program for Best Buddies, and (3) creates a global institute to honor the work of Eunice Kennedy Shriver and to conduct research on issues important to individuals with intellectual disabilities.
Special Olympics Sport and Empowerment: The Secretary of Education may award grants to or contract with Special Olympics to promote the organization and its activities and design and implement education programs in the United States. In addition, the Secretary of State may award grants or contract with Special Olympics for promotion and programs outside the United States. And, the secretary of Health and Human Services may award grants to or contract with Special Olympics to improve the health of its athletes through on-site screenings, assessments, health education, prevention, data collection, and referrals to health care services.
Best Buddies: The secretary of Education may award grants to or contract with Best Buddies to promote the expansion of Best Buddies, including increasing participation of people with intellectual disabilities in social relationships and other aspects of community life, such as education and employment.
Eunice Kennedy Shriver Institutes for Sport and Social Impact: The Secretary of Education shall award a grant to one or more institutes of higher education in partnership with nonprofit organizations to establish the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Institutes for Sport and Social Impact. At least 25 percent of the total cost of the activities must come from the institute of higher education. The institutions that receive the grant must use the grant: (1) to improve the quality of life and social inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities, (2) provide training and technical assistance to people with intellectual disabilities, nonprofits, public entities, educational programs, recreation programs, and others to increase opportunities in sports, education, and the community, (3) collect and analyze data about barriers to full inclusion, and (4) report on the research resulting from the activities of the grant.
Eunice Kennedy Shriver founded the Special Olympics in 1968, and it provides year-round training to more than 3,000,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities in 26 sports.
Anthony Kennedy Shriver founded Best Buddies in 1989, and the organization is dedicated to building a worldwide organization to mentor people with intellectual developmental disabilities (IDD).
Reauthorization of the Special Olympics Sport and Empowerment Act will cost $22.5 million in 2010 and "such sums as necessary" for the next four years. Authorized funding of Best Buddies is $10 million in 2010 and "such sums as necessary" for the next four years. H.R. 5220 doesn't specify funding for the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Institute, but "such sums as necessary" are to be authorized and appropriated for 2011 through 2015.