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Senate Committee Rejects Cuts To SSBG!

The U.S. Senate Budget Committee on Thursday, March 9 rejected a $500 million cut to the Social Services Block Grant (SSBG). The cut was considered as part of a Senate Budget resolution largely based on the President’s February 6 budget proposal. CWLA made these proposed cuts to SSBG one of three “Hot Topics” of legislative activity during our recent national conference. The efforts of all those participating in Hill Day and all other advocates were crucial in informing members of Congress of the impact of this proposal.

Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) was instrumental as he offered the amendment preserving SSBG funding that passed on voice vote. The Administration’s proposed budget reduced SSBG funding from $1.7 billion to $1.2 billion.

SSBG represents 12% of all federal funding states spend on child welfare services. SSBG is used to provide child abuse prevention, adoption services, foster care, child protection, independent and transitional living, and residential services for children and youth. In FY 2003, states allocated nearly $700 million in SSBG funds for children and youth involved in child welfare. Nationwide, more than 2.6 million children received a range of child welfare services funded in part or in total by SSBG.

The budget process has a long way to go and there are still many concerns about this year’s budget, but this is an important first step and a clear statement by members of the Senate Budget Committee that they do not support such a cut to SSBG.

For more information visit CWLA's SSBG Hot Topics and SSBG Leg agenda chapter or contact John Sciamanna, CWLA Co-Director of Government Affairs, at, or 202/639-4919.

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