General

Supreme Court Rules Against Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation

On Monday, June 15, 2020, the Supreme Court struck down state laws that permitted discrimination in employment on the basis of sexual orientation. The decision was a powerful vote of 6 to 3 margin with the majority Supreme Court decision, written by Trump appointee Justice Neil Gorsuch. The dissent was written by Justice Samuel Alito

The Justice in Policing Act

On Monday, June 8, 2020, the Congressional Black Caucus Chair Karen Bass (D-CA), Senators Corey Booker (D-NJ) and Kamala Harris (D-CA), and House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) introduced the Justice in Policing Act of 2020, the first-ever bold, comprehensive approach to hold police accountable, change the culture of law enforcement and build trust

House Social Services Block Grant (SSBG): What’s In It

The House-passed HEROES Act adopted by the House on May 15, 2020, includes significant funding under the Social Services Block Grant (SSBG) that would help state and local governments address current budgetary shortfalls. SSBG has always been a significant funder of a range of child welfare services, including foster care, youth services, child protection, prevention

Unemployment Insurance During COVID-19

On Tuesday, June 9, the Senate Finance Committee hearing “Unemployment Insurance During COVID-19: The CARES Act and the Role of Unemployment Insurance During the Pandemic” addressed the future and current administration of Unemployment Insurance (UI). As state governments and businesses have slowly started to gain footing during this pandemic, Congress is now faced with a

State Relief by Increasing FMAP for Medicaid and Title IV-E

Last week, CWLA’s members urged Congress to pass another emergency supplemental bill that expands the current level of federal support for state and territorial Medicaid and child welfare programs. In the Families First COVID-19 emergency supplemental bill, Congress acted swiftly to provide a much-needed 6.2 percentage increase in the FMAP. As the pandemic increases the

Ways and Means Committee Examines the Impact of COVID-19 on Communities of Color

On Wednesday, May 27, 2020, the House Ways and Means Committee conducted a virtual hearing on the Disproportionate Impact of COVID-19 on Communities of Color. Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA), said: “While the factors driving these inequities are complex and multifaceted, their impact on health outcomes have been clearly documented.” His opening comments highlighted: Indigenous and

House Bill Provides FMAP Increase, SSBG Funding

Two areas addressed in the House bill and supported by CWLA include the FMAP increase for state Medicaid and Title IV-E programs and an increase in funding of $9.6 billion for the Social Services Block Grant (SSBG). The second COVID-19 bill increased each state’s Medicaid matching rate (FMAP—the federal medical assistance percentage) by 6.2 percent,

CWLA Endorses Wyden Bill To Provide Increased TANF Funding

On Friday, May 8, 2020, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced legislation that would provide $10 billion in emergency TANF funding. CWLA has endorsed the legislation. The TANF funding increase of $10 billion would be paid out until the end of the fiscal year 2021 (September 30, 2021) and it could be used for current services

Government Releases Some Tribal COVID-19 Funds After Weeks of Delay

On Tuesday, May 5, the Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin and the Secretary of Interior David L. Bernhardt announced how billions of dollars in Coronavirus Relief Fund money will be distributed to Native American tribal governments throughout the country. The CARES Act, which passed on March 25, included a set aside of $8 billion for tribal governments

Senate Officially Returns While House Holds Off

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) announced Tuesday, April 28, 2020, that the House would delay returning on Monday, May 4, after discussing the situation with the Capitol Hill physician. The Congressman pointed to the continuing increases in coronavirus cases in Washington, DC, going from 3,098 to 3,994 between April 20 and April 27. Washington

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