Administration

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Congress Now In Race To Budget Deadline

After weeks of Congressional dreams of an early departure, Congress is now in a race to make sure the government does not shut down on October 1. No one is really expecting a shutdown but the process has gone on for weeks after leaders had floated the possibility of an early departure.  On Thursday, September 22, Senate Majority Leader Mitch [...]

Senate Pushes December 9 CR, Early Departure

There appeared to be progress in appropriations discussions after the first week back.  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced early in the week that the Senate would be proposing a CR that would extend funding to December 9, 2016.  That came as a rebuff to more conservative House members who had and still are pushing for a CR to [...]

HHS Issues Guidance on CAPTA Safe Care

At the end of August, HHS issued an information memorandum (ACYF-CB-IM-16-0) to inform and assist states in implementing a “Plan of Safe Care” under the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) as amended by the recent Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016 the “CARA” legislation. The drug treatment reform bill amended CAPTA in regard to a plan of [...]

Congress Returns for Hectic September

It is unclear how long Congress will be in session this month but many expect that the session will not extend into October despite a calendar that sets October as adjournment date.  Front and center will be the appropriations for FY 2017 which starts on October 1. There is little possibility that Congress will enact any of the 12 appropriations [...]

New Pilot Program and Toolkit Could Help Foster Youth With SSI

Three organizations have come together to provide a toolkit, SSI for Youth Transitioning Out of Foster Care, that could help test out a new Social Security Administration pilot that seeks to extend SSI benefits to youth exiting foster care.  The three groups authoring the report, the Juvenile Law Center, Community Legal Services of Philadelphia, and the Homeless Advocacy Project have [...]

Plenary Sessions Outline the challenges and Needed Responses

More than 550 attendees at the CWLA Conference were welcomed by opening remarks of Commissioner Rafael Lopez, Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACYF), HHS.  Lopez offered praise to the many participants made up of state and local agencies and service providers.  In his first day comments he said that what was most important and effective is to “help families [...]

Families First Act Gets Attention At CWLA Conference & By Bill Sponsors

Talking about the need for greater access to needed services for families, on both Monday and Tuesday’s plenary sessions Commissioner Rafael Lopez noted the significance of the Family First Prevention Services Act, (HR 5456) (Conference Report 114-628).  Lopez highlighted in his Tuesday luncheon remarks how the current opioid crisis is not new but just different from what we have confronted [...]

Details on CARA Act-Drug Legislation

The final conference report on the “CARA” legislation includes changes under nine titles.  Its emphasis, unlike past anti-drug initiatives, is more on prevention and treatment. It is a distance from some of the efforts of the 1980s when crack-cocaine was attracting all the attention in regard to substance use.  Actions then and into the 1990s were more focused on interdiction [...]

Senate Adopts CARA Goes To President For Signature

On the last day of summer session, Thursday, July 14, the Senate approved the conference report on the “CARA” legislation and sent the legislation onto the President who will sign it.  The vote was 92 to 2 with only Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) and Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) voting no. CARA or the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act is an [...]

House Committee Adopts Labor-HHS Bill—Next Step CR & November

On Wednesday the House Appropriations Committee Approved a bill that would fund the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and Education (Labor-HHS).  The bill and committee report reduces spending below current year funding and attaches a number of provisions the President would reject. Overall the bill provides $161.6 billion which is a cut of $569 million below this year.  [...]