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July 12, 2002
Immediate Action Needed
Senate Begins Voting on Funding for Promoting Safe and Stable Families Program & Educational and Training Vouchers for Youth
On July 16, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education will vote on the FY 2003 appropriations bill that will determine the funding level for all discretionary programs administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
(Remind your Senators that President Bush included these increases in his FY 2003 budget request.)
- Support $505 million for the Promoting Safe and Stable Families (PSSF) program.
- Support $60 million in first time funding for educational and training vouchers for youth aging out of foster care and youth adopted from foster care at age 16 or older.
ACTION REQUIRED: Call your U.S. Senators. You can reach DC Senate offices through the Capitol switchboard at 202/224-3121. Members of the Subcommittee (see listing below) need to hear from you before the vote on July 16!
A summary of the legislation that reauthorized the Promoting Safe and Stable Families program and created the voucher program is available on CWLA's website at www.cwla.org/advocacy/pssfsummary.htm.
- Last year, Congress passed a law (P.L. 107-133) to reauthorize the Promoting Safe and Stable Families program through 2007. The law guarantees that states will receive $305 million in funding each year. The law also permits Congress to approve an additional $200 million each year in discretionary funding, which has to be approved annually through the appropriations process. In FY 2002, Congress only appropriated an additional $70 million, bringing total FY 2002 funding to $375 million.
- Additional funding for PSSF will support efforts to prevent child abuse and neglect, support families in crisis, and promote and support adoption for the tens of thousands of children waiting in foster care for permanent families. It will also fund increased child protection activities in state courts and Indian tribes.
- In addition to reauthorizing PSSF, the law passed last year also created a new education and training voucher program for youth aging out of foster care and youth adopted from foster care at age 16 or older. Congress must approve funding for this program, up to $60 million each year, through the annual appropriations process. No funding was provided in FY 2002.
- $60 million for education and training vouchers for youth aging out of foster care and youth adopted from foster care at age 16 or older will enable many of the 16,000 youth who leave care each year to get help with higher education and preparing for employment.
Members of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education:
For more information, contact Liz Meitner, CWLA Vice President of Government Affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202/942-0257.
Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chair, 202/224-8221
Ernest F. Hollings (D-SC), 202/224-6121
Daniel K. Inouye (D-HI), 202/224-3934
Harry Reid (D-NV), 202/224-3542
Herbert H. Kohl (D-WI), 202/224-5653
Patty Murray (D-WA), 202/224-2621
Mary Landrieu (D-LA), 202/224-5824
Robert C. Byrd (D-WV), 202/224-3471
Arlen Specter (R-PA), Ranking Member, 202/224-7230
Thad Cochran (R-MS), 202/224-5054
Judd Gregg (R-NH), 202/224-3324
Larry E. Craig (R-ID), 202/224-2752
Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), 202/224-5922
Ted Stevens (R-AK), 202/224-7363
Mike DeWine (R-OH), 202/224-2315
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