President Obama will release his final budget on Tuesday for the Fiscal Year 2017. The budget year begins on October 1. The overall spending caps for domestic and defense spending have been set as part of last year’s budget deal but that does not mean that the Administration and their Congressional counterparts won’t try and find savings or revenue to spend beyond those targets. One Administration proposal will include a $10 a barrel levy on oil to fund infrastructure projects. Other such ideas could happen as part of an initial discussion but not likely as part of the final agreement later this year. The President and Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WS) and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) met this past week to examine common ground but there were no statements on next steps or areas of consensus.
Two areas that CWLA will be alert for are proposals around substance use and strategies around expanding and strengthening the child welfare workforce. Both topics are expected to get some attention at the April Advocacy Summit in Washington DC April 18 through 20. The drug and alcohol issue will also be targeted at the CWLA Nation Conference on Substance Use in Orange County, California from August 1st through the 3rd.
In regard to substance use the Administration released information last Tuesday outlining $1.1 billion in new funding as part of the upcoming budget to address heroin and opioids addiction. The funding would be spread through several agencies to expand treatment and prevention. The White House has also released some information about an initiative for youth apprenticeships, summer jobs and $2 billion for competitive community-based grants for “disconnected” youth. The total youth package, mainly through the Labor Department will total over $5 billion.
The House of Representatives is expected to be on a fast track on the budget. Several committees will begin hearings on the budget this week and the House leadership would like to act on a budget resolution by the end of this month.
Look for more information on the budget in next week’s Children’s Monitor and on the CWLA website later this week and CWLA members will receive a summary a day after the budget is released.