Also addressing the Wednesday CWLA gathering were four key legislative staffers from the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee. The bipartisan group included Anne DeCesaro, House Republican Staff, Morna Miller, House Democratic staff, Laura Berntsen, Senator Ron Wyden, and Ryan Martin, Senator Orrin Hatch.
The bipartisan group used a power point presentation that went through the various elements of the Family First Act including some of the rationale and some of the considerations that went into the process. The more than hour long discussion was a constructive question and answer session that outlined some of the challenges both the states and local providers are facing in the implementation of the act.
The discussion and questions reflected what was discussed during many of the Conference plenaries and break out workshops. What programs will be eligible for funding, how it will impact on the range of provider options for youth most directly impacted by the changes in institutional care, what capacity and funding will individual states have to either draw the new services dollars and how will restrictions and new requirements around items such as accreditation effect their states.