CWLA Members Discuss Substance Use With Hill, States and Programs

After the Tuesday evening dinner with Commissioner Lopez and reporter Christopher Walker, on Wednesday, April 20, CWLA members wrapped-up with a morning session focused on the substance use issue. With Congress continuing its focus on the prescription drug and opioids addiction issue (see following story) and a number of bills introduced in various committees including Senate Finance, HELP and Appropriations [...]

Senate Foster Youth Caucus Discusses Substance Abuse

On Tuesday, April 5 the Senate Caucus on Foster Youth held a briefing on Capitol Hill. The briefing is part of a series focused on why children are coming into foster care, this briefing highlighted, “The Impact of Substance Use and Mental Disorders on Child Welfare Involvement.” The panel presentations included comments by Dr Nancy K Young, Executive Director, Children [...]

House CAPTA Bill Urges Greater HHS Monitoring Absent New Enforcement

When House Education and the Workforce members introduced, the Improving Safe Care for the Prevention of Infant Abuse and Neglect Act  last month, after a recent action by the Senate HELP Committee, they took a more targeted approach.  Targeted toward HHS.  Both bills focus on the “safe care” plans for children born and identified as being affected by illegal substances [...]

Senate HELP Committee Adopts Amendments To CAPTA, Safe Care

As part of the Senate HELP Committee’s debate of a mental health reform measure (see below), senators also endorsed S 2687, the Plan of Safe Care Improvements Act. The legislation, introduced by Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) would alter CAPTA and the current language around safe care plans and existing directives to states to have a plan of care for infants [...]

House Committee Questions Enforcement of CAPTA Assurances

While the Senate HELP Committee was debating mental health legislations and amendments to CAPTA, on Tuesday, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce used testimony from Secretary of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell to raise questions in regard to enforcement of the same CAPTA provisions. In his opening remarks Chairman John Kelley (R-MN) said, “…the department is [...]

HELP Committee Takes Up Mental Health, Amends CAPTA

On Wednesday, March 16 the Senate HELP Committee passed out of committee S 2680, the Mental Health Reform Act of 2016.  The bill taken up was based on a staff discussion draft. In prepared remarks Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), sponsors highlighted the overall changes in the authorization legislation, Alexander said “One in five [...]

Senate HELP Takes Up Mental Health, Safe Care Plans in CAPTA

On Wednesday, March 16 the Senate HELP Committee will take up a major draft bill to strengthen mental health services in the United States.  The committee will also address other legislation, including an amendment to CAPTA, building on that body’s recent attempts to address substance abuse. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) are attempting to building on [...]

Flint Assistance, Progress and Delay

On Thursday, March 3 the Administration through the Department of Health and Human Services announced they were expanding Medicaid coverage to pregnant women and children beyond what the current Medicaid coverage allows. The announcement by HHS would expand care to an estimated 15,000 patients.  The HHS expansion would also increase some of the coverage to 30,000 patients already covered by [...]

Senate Committee Hold Hearing on Substance Abuse Issues

On Tuesday, February 23 the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing on the prescription drug to heroin addiction issue.  The hearing highlights the continued intense interest within Congress on the issue of heroin and opioids use. With sixteen senators in attendance at one time or another there was a great deal of interest on a topic that included the drug [...]

Separate Legislation Introduced To Extend PSSF/Substance Abuse Grants

While the Finance Committee was holding a hearing on opioids and heroin, two key senators, Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), were introducing a bill to reauthorize the $20 million in funding for Regional Partnership Grants (RPGs) to address substance abuse.  The grants have been a part of the Promotion Safe and Stable Families (PSSF) [...]