On Thursday, July 28th, 2022, Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) released the twelve Senate Appropriations bills. These bills spend nearly $1.7 trillion for fiscal year 2023 and represent the priorities and stances of the Senate Democrats; appropriators still have not reached an agreement on top-line spending numbers, and Republican leaders have indicated that they will wait until after the election in November to negotiate. A budget will need 60 votes to clear the Senate.
The Senate Labor-HHS bill includes $110,091,000 for CAPTA and $75,660,000 for CB-CAP, which are slightly higher spending levels than the House bill ($110B and $75B, respectively). The Senate also included larger increases in the discretionary funds in Promoting Sare and Stable Families, appropriating $94,515,000 for these programs, including $28M for Kinship Navigator programs (versus the $20M in the House bill).
The Senate matched the House Appropriations for the Child Care and Development Block Grant at $7,165,330,000, which is a $1B increase over last year.
Some line items in the Senate bill were smaller than the House Appropriations levels, however: the Senate bill includes $43,257,000 for the Chafee Education and Training Vouchers, while the House increased this program to $45,257,000. The Senate appropriated $49,000,000 for the Adoption Opportunities program, which is $1B less than the House bill level. And the Senate bill included $15,000,000 for racial equity in child welfare, while the House set funding for this new program at $20,000,000.
The Senate Appropriations Committee also included $25,000,000 for a new initiative to improve the educational outcomes of students in foster care and to identify best practices for collaborations between child welfare agencies and State and local educational agencies. Funds will be made available for demonstration grants to establish strong collaborations and partnerships between States, State and local child welfare agencies, State and local educational agencies, and other key partners, to research and support innovative strategies for improving the educational outcomes of students in foster care.