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March 13, 2003

Immediate Action Needed

Urge Congress to Vote on State Fiscal Relief Now!

In order to protect against cuts in state and local assistance for children's health and social services, bipartisan legislation has been introduced in the Congress to help states with their current budget crisis. S. 138/H.R. 816 , the State Fiscal Relief Act, would provide, if enacted, $10 billion for the federal share of Medicaid and $10 billion for the Social Services Block Grant. The bills were introduced in the Senate by Sens. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Ben Nelson (D-NE), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Gordon Smith (R-OR) and in the House by Rep. Peter King (R-NY) and 116 bipartisan colleagues. Without state fiscal relief now, many programs that help children and families may be in jeopardy. Severe cuts and reduced services are likely as states struggle to balance their budget shortfalls by June 30.


Call your United States Senators and U.S. Representative. Ask your Senators and Representative to cosponsor S. 138/H.R. 816 if they have not already done so and urge an immediate vote on state fiscal relief. You can reach all congressional offices through the Capitol switchboard at 202/224-3121.


Over the past several months, states have been struggling with staggering revenue shortfalls. As governors and state legislators debate steps to resolve these budget deficits, Medicaid is likely to be a target for spending reductions. More than one million low-income Americans have lost or may lose government-subsidized health care as states try to contain rapidly escalating costs. During this economic downturn, states are looking to the federal government to temporarily assist in assuming a greater share of the Medicaid costs.

In addition, many children and family services currently funded by the Social Services Block Grant may face significant cuts. Child abuse prevention, family support, child care, and services to at-risk youth may be cut or reduced.


  • Urge your Senators and Representative to call for an immediate vote on S. 138/H.R. 816 , the State Fiscal Relief Act, to help states before they are forced to make cuts to children's programs.

  • Share the effect of what cuts in state spending will mean to the children and families you serve, and the importance of additional funding for Medicaid and SSBG.
For more information, contact Barbara Allen, CWLA Senior Government Affairs Associate, at 202/639-4924 or

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