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April 6, 2001
Congress is in recess from Friday, April 7 until Monday, April 23. This is an excellent time to contact your U.S. Senators and Representatives to urge their support of the legislation that strengthens children and families. During the past two weeks Congress has been embroiled in a contentious debate about priorities, focusing on tax cuts vs. meeting human service needs. We urge you to make your voices heard during the recess to make sure Congress knows that there should be no higher priority than children and families.
(1) The Social Services Block Grant Restoration Act
MESSAGE: Restore funding to the Social Services Block Grant this year by cosponsoring S. 501/H.R. 956.
If Congress fails to act this year, funding for SSBG (Title XX) will be reduced by an additional $25 million to $1.7 billion, and the states' ability to transfer 10 percent of their Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant into SSBG will be reduced to 4.25 percent. In the past few years, funding for SSBG has been cut to fund other programs.
Bipartisan legislation (S. 501/H.R. 956) was introduced in March to restore FY 2002 SSBG funding to $2.38 billion and preserve the 10 percent transfer. The Senate bill is sponsored by Senator Graham (D-FL) and the House bill is sponsored by Congresswoman Johnson (R-CT).
- Contact your Representative and Senators and ask them to cosponsor legislation (S. 501./H.R. 956) to increase funding for SSBG to $2.38 billion.
- Lend your organization's support to the legislation by endorsing the bills. You can add your organization's name to a letter that will be sent to Congress and the White House in support of increased funding for SSBG on the CWLA website. To view the letter and to add your organization's name to the list of endorsers, go to http://www.cwla.org/advocacy/ssbgletter.htm.
(2) Child Protection/Alcohol and Drug Partnership Act
MESSAGE: Cosponsor S. 484.
The bipartisan Child Protection/AOD Partnership Act (S. 484) was reintroduced in the Senate in March. The bill provides for $1.9 billion in new funding over five years to promote child protection and alcohol and drug partnerships. Through grants to state child welfare and alcohol and drug agencies, these funds will jointly address the treatment needs of families in the child welfare system.
Sponsors of S. 484 include Senators Snowe (R-ME), Rockefeller (D-WV), DeWine (R-OH), Dodd (D-CT), Breaux (D-LA), Collins (R-ME), Jeffords (R-VT), Landrieu (D-LA), and Lincoln (D-AR). Similar legislation will soon be introduced in the House.
ACTION REQUIRED: Ask your Senators to cosponsor S. 484.
(3) Younger Americans Act
MESSAGE: Cosponsor H.R. 17.
The Younger Americans Act was introduced in January with bipartisan support in the House of Representatives. The bill provides $5.75 billion over five years to provide resources to community based organizations to engage young people in positive youth development programs. This bill will give millions of young people the opportunities and experiences they need to grow up to be contributing members of society. Similar legislation will soon be introduced in the Senate.
Sponsors of H.R. 17 include Representatives Miller (D-CA), Roukema (R-NJ), Gilman (R-NY), Clement (D-TN), and Quinn (R-NY).
ACTION REQUIRED: Ask your Representative to cosponsor the Younger Americans Act (H.R. 17).
(4) Child Protection Services Improvement Act
MESSAGE: Cosponsor H.R. 1371.
New legislation (H.R. 1371) was just introduced on April 3rd in the House of Representatives by Rep. Stark (D-CA) to begin to address the child welfare workforce crisis. The legislation provides states with $500 million over five years to improve child welfare workers' wages, increase the number of workers, reduce the turnover and vacancy rate in child welfare agencies, increase the education and training of child welfare workers, attract and retain qualified candidates, and coordinate services with other agencies. The legislation strongly encourages states to make these resources available to nonprofit private providers. The bill also creates a loan forgiveness program for child welfare workers that have been employed with an agency at least two years.
ACTION REQUIRED: Ask your Representative to cosponsor H.R. 1371.
For more information call CWLA's Government Affairs Department at 202/942-0278 or contact Liz Meitner, CWLA's Director of Public Policy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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