November 22, 2019
The House and Senate are on recess next week and we will take a short holiday break. Look for us back in your inbox on December 6. We want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and relay how thankful we are for all of you and your amazing collective work!

Here are the latest updates we are following around Washington.
Legislative Updates
Second Continuing Resolution Extends Federal Funding Through December 20
Congress passed a second Continuing Resolution to fund the federal government through December 20 while appropriators continue negotiations on a full year spending package. The bill includes an extension of funding for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, including the TANF Contingency Fund. The bill also extends the Child Care Entitlement to States, allowing HHS to match state child care expenditures, and continues funding for Health Profession Opportunity Grant demonstrations.
House Passes The Fostering Stable Housing Opportunities Act of 2019
This week, the House of Representatives passed a bill designed to help keep youth aging out of the foster care system from experiencing homelessness. The Fostering Stable Housing Opportunities Act improves existing stable housing laws and aligns federal housing assistance resources to reach foster youth aging out. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and local Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) will coordinate with child welfare agencies to match up foster youth across the country who are aging out and are at risk of homelessness with 3-year housing vouchers. The new legislation also allows for the vouchers to be extended for up to 2 “bonus years” if the foster youth is seeking higher education or participating in a self sufficiency program. The bill will now be moved to the Senate to be considered.

House Subcommittee Moves Two Maternal Mortality Bills to Full Committee
The House Committee on Energy and Commerce will vote as a full committee on the Maternal Health Quality Improvement Act (HR 4995) and Helping Medicaid Offer Maternity Services (MOMS) Act. The Maternal Health Quality Improvement Act would award special grants to improve rural obstetric care and the MOMS Act would incentivize states to extend the time a new mother is covered under Medicaid. Both bills aim to reduce the maternal mortality rate in the U.S., which has doubled over the last decade to 23.8 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2014. With wide bipartisan support, both bills are expected to pass the House without delay.

Counting for Dollars 2020: The Role of the Decennial Census in the Geographic Distribution of Federal Funds
A series of reports issued by the George Washington Institute of Public Policy highlights the role of the decennial Census on the distribution of federal funds for key programs and services. 
Child and Family Well-Being
The Department of Justice Announces $55.8 Million in Reentry Program Grants
The Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP) have announced new funding for programs focused on the reintegration of individuals transitioning out of incarceration. $39.3 million will be awarded for adult programs, with funding focused on community-based strategies to ease reentry into the general population and reduce the rate of recidivism. OJP has also reserved $11.2 million to focus on detained juveniles and young mothers and fathers being reunified with children after being detained or placed out-of-home. Recipients include state or county level agencies and private community service providers. 

The Department of Justice Awards More Than $100 Million to Address Human Trafficking
Last week the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) within the Department of Justice awarded $80 million in new funding to provide vital services to victims of human trafficking.  Operated under the Direct Services to Support Victims of Human Trafficking program, grantees provide comprehensive services to address the complex aftercare needs of those who have experienced trafficking and all its related traumas. OVC also reserved $11 million of the $80 million award to provide minors with services that are developmentally appropriate and tailored for their individual needs. The grants also include special programs to keep children in federal care from being targeted for sexual exploitation and the identification and prevention of traffickers.

Upcoming Funding Opportunities to Support Research on Children and Families
The HHS Administration for Children & Families announced plans to release funding opportunities in the near future for research on child care, early care, and education. Interested parties can review the relevant Notice of Funding Announcements below. 

Montana Medicaid Community Engagement Requirements on Hold
Earlier this year, Montana lawmakers passed a bill to add community engagement requirements into its Medicaid expansion program. In accordance with the law, the MT Department of Public Health and Human Services submitted their Medicaid work/community engagement requirements proposal to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in August 2019. On November 15, the state announced that due to their federal approval still pending, the community engagement requirements will now be delayed a year, and no longer commence on January 1, 2020. Medicaid expansion coverage is still starting in January 2020. 

DASH CIC-START Call for Applications
Data Across Sectors for Health (DASH) has announced a new call for applications for Community Impact Contracts – Strategic, Timely, Actionable, Replicable, Targeted (CIC-START). DASH CIC-START aims to help multi-sector collaborations catalyze their efforts to share and use data to improve health and build a culture of health in their communities. Up to 15 CIC-START contracts of up to $25,000 will be available to local collaborations to support targeted, short-term activities that build skills and capacity at the community or regional level. Applications are due by December 6. The DASH National Program Office will host an informational webinar on November 22.

Employment and Economic Well-Being
USDA Encourages States to Engage SNAP Participants in Employment Opportunities
On Wednesday, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) released a letter to state agencies which, in part, outlined how the the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program ( SNAP) Employment and Training (SNAP E&T) Program is a valuable resource that helps participants gain the skills they need to become more competitive job candidates, and should be an integrated part of the work support system. To advance these efforts, USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service is preparing to host the first ever SNAP E&T National Forum, a three-day conference slated to be held in St. Louis, MO, that will bring together SNAP E&T stakeholders from across the country to share and learn best practices; network with peers, experts, and leaders; and receive updates and refreshers on federal SNAP and SNAP E&T policy. The date of the conference will be announced in the coming weeks.

Request for Information: Innovative Approaches and Knowledge Gaps Related To Enhancing Nonresident Parents' Ability To Support Their Children Economically and Emotionally
The HHS Administration for Children & Families (ACF) is seeking information from interested parties on strategies to improve employment outcomes for noncustodial parents, including how to create a multi-system approach that addresses multiple barriers that nonresident parents face when trying to support their children. The information request also seeks information on how these parents can provide emotional support, in addition to economic support, to their children. Responses will inform ACF’s ongoing development of a learning and action agenda on employment programs for nonresident parents. Comments are due by March 6, 2020.
Upcoming Events
Webinar: Assessing Job Quality and Equity in Your Local Labor Market
How do you measure job quality – with a focus on race, gender, and place – and monitor trends? The Economic Opportunity Program at the Aspen Institute will explore this issue with the following questions:

  • Why prioritize and measure job quality in your work?
  • What data sources, tools, and approaches can you put to work immediately to assess job quality in your local labor market?
  • How can you disaggregate data by race, gender, and place, and analyze disparities in job quality in a region?
November 25, 3:30–4:30 PM EST
Early Bird Registration Open for 2020 State Healthcare IT Connect Summit
The conference has grown and evolved into an important national venue for public and private sector thought leaders to share ideas and benchmark implementation strategies of State Health IT Systems. An anticipated 1000+ attendees & 45+ state teams will attend the 2020 program. Agenda themes include: Data Quality, Program & Business Metrics, Evolving Procurement Approaches, Organizational Change Management, Interoperability, Consumer Data Access, Integrating SDoH, Advanced Analytics, Security and Privacy.
April 27-29, 2020 | Baltimore, MD
APHSA Career Center - Post Your Open Positions Today

APHSA serves as a clearinghouse for job opportunities throughout the health and human services (H/HS) field. Employers reach a wide audience of candidates looking for careers in H/HS and job seekers will find a bevy of opportunities throughout the country.