There are dozens of federal programs that need reauthorization and are not likely to get extended, at least not in this year. Some reauthorizations ran out years ago but they can still receive funding through the appropriations process. This includes the Higher Education Act, Head Start, the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) which also usually includes the Adoption Opportunities and Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention. A few others however seem to be more likely to get reauthorized, especially in cases where the continued funding for 2018 is contingent on Congress extending the laws.
Front and center in this category is the home visiting program, MIECHV (Maternal Infant Early Childhood Home Visiting) program. It was originally enacted as part of the Affordable Care Act with mandatory funding that ratchetted up each of the first five years until it reached its current funding level of $400 million a year. Despite its connection to the ACA the home visiting program has received bipartisan support the last few years and as a result has already received two short term extensions. Advocates are seeking a five-year extension with a gradual doubling of funding over the course of five years.
The Children’s Health Insurance Program or CHIP is also in need of an extension this year or, like MIECHV, will run out of funding. Advocates are also seeking a long term five-year extension with the enhanced state match in funding. There is also some pressure to get this done soon because state outreach and coverage will be effected if states are uncertain of funding and how long the program will last. In both cases the Administration has offered up only two-year extensions with cuts to CHIP and flat funding for home visiting.
One other reauthorization, which has continued to get funding despite the authorization running out is the Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA). There is some hope for this measure because it has passed the House and there was success in last year’s Senate until Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) blocked its movement.
Finally, is the extension of Title IV-B part 1 and part 2. The Child Welfare Services (CWS) and Promoting Safe and Stable Families (PSSF) are living off short term extensions as a result of the appropriations bill adopted a few weeks ago. It was part of the Families First Act of last year and when it failed to move in December, the IV-B programs were given extensions as part of the CR.
Its fate is tied to whatever discussion evolve within the Senate. Efforts are ongoing to revive the Families First Act which would likely mean more changes. It also means finding a way to pay for it since part of last year’s pay-for, a delay in the Adoption Assistance de-link, has been used up. It’s also likely changes to the institutional care provisions could result in less savings.
If an agreement is not reached along with a way to offset the cost, look for a IV-B reauthorization to move separately but that too would require a need to find $20 million a year to continue Court Improvement Program (CIP) funding at the current $30 million level.