March 8, 2019
Greetings!
Both chambers were in session this week and here is what APHSA has been following from the Hill and the Administration. Don't forget to register for APHSA's 2019 National HHS Summit, May 19-22, Crystal Gateway Marriott, Arlington VA.
Legislative Update
Enacted Legislation Budgetary Effects on Mandatory Spending and Revenue
On March 5, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released the agency’s estimates of the budgetary effects legislation enacted during the first and second sessions of the 115th Congress that affected mandatory spending or revenues. The effects on direct spending and revenues of laws enacted in 2017 are estimated to add $1.5 trillion to federal deficits over the 2017–2027 period; laws enacted in 2018 are projected to have little net effect over the 2018–2028 period. Read Report
Debt Limit Reinstated
The statutory federal debt limit was reinstated on March 1, after having been suspended for more than a year by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that Treasury can continue financing the government’s operations for several months using extraordinary measures.
Numerous SNAP and TANF-Related Bills Introduced in Congress
February 14 – HR 1246: The Improving Access to Work Act was introduced by Rep. Darin LaHood (R-IL) and referred to House Committee on Ways and Means. The bill would amend Title IV-A of the Social Security Act to:
  • Prohibit state diversion of federal TANF funds to replace state spending
  • Require states to reserve at least 25 percent of their TANF block grants for spending on Core Activities
  • Require that at least 25 percent of Qualified State Expenditures from non-private sources be for Core Activities
February 26 – HR 1368: A bill to amend the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 to require that supplemental nutrition assistance program benefits be calculated with reference to the cost of the low-cost food plan as determined by the Secretary of Agriculture, and for other purposes was introduced by Rep. Alma Adams (D-NC) and cosponsored by 106 other Democratic representatives. The bill has been referred to the House Agriculture Committee. If passed, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits would increase by an estimated 30 percent. Additional information about HR 1368
 
February 27 – S 588: The Income Verification Act was introduced by Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) and referred to the Senate Finance Committee. The bill would require State agencies to use Federal tax return information to verify income eligibility for Medicaid, the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. According to a press release from the office of Sen. Kennedy, the bill aims to reduce fraud in taxpayer-funded government assistance programs by requiring states to use federal tax information to verify income eligibility.

A corresponding bill, HR 1495 was introduced by Rep. Ralph Abraham (R-LA) on March 5. The House version of the bill is sponsored by six other Republican representatives. It was referred to the House Agriculture Committee, House Energy and Commerce Committee, and the House Ways and Means Committee.
 
February 28 – HR 1470: A bill to amend the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 to provide greater access to the supplemental nutrition assistance program by reducing duplicative and burdensome administrative requirements, authorize the Secretary of Agriculture to award grants to certain community-based nonprofit feeding and anti-hunger groups for the purpose of establishing and implementing a Beyond the Soup Kitchen Pilot Program for certain socially and economically disadvantaged populations, and for other purposes was introduced by Rep. José E. Serrano (D-NY) and referred to the House Agriculture Committee. The bill is cosponsored by eleven other Democratic senators. Additional information about HR 1470
 
February 28 – HR 1476: A bill to provide for the conduct of demonstration projects to provide coordinated case management services for TANF recipients was introduced by Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-IN) and referred to House Committee on Ways and Means. Additional information about HR 1476
Child and Family Well-Being
ACF Temporarily Suspends Child Support Penalties
The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) notified states that they will not be penalized if it is unable to certify compliance with certain requirements related to withholding of federal benefits. Read Announcement
ACF Seeks Comment on New Unaccompanied Refugee
Minor Program Survey
The survey is to help ACF better understand the range of child welfare services and benefits provided through the program. Comments are due by Friday, March 29. Read Comment Notice
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities Releases New Papers on State-Level Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)
CBPP has released three new papers on a state-level Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) that would help working families earning low wages meet basic needs, what that would cost in the fiscal year 2020, and how state EITCS and minimum wages work best together.

Child Poverty Rate Could Be Cut in Half in Next Decade Following Proposals in New Expert Report
In light of the many costs generated by child poverty for the United States, a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine provides evidence-based policy and program packages that could cut the child poverty rate by as much as 50 percent while at the same time increasing employment and earnings among adults living in low-income families.
Employment and Economic Well-Being
Urban Institute Launches "Safety Net Update" Newsletter
The Urban Institute has launched a new newsletter highlighting its researcher's latest work on the "social safety net." Safety Net Update is a continuation of its year-long From Safety Net to Solid Ground  initiative which produces timely and relevant research on the many proposed changes to social safety net policy coming from Washington, playing out at the national and state level.
Housing
HUD Announces New Review Deadlines for CDBG-DR Action Plans
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced new review deadlines for pending Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) Action Plan amendments (March 1, 2019) and Action Plans (March 15, 2019). Read Notice
Healthcare
CMS Extends Timeline for Program Integrity Final Rule
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is delaying publication of the final rule to implement program integrity enhancements to the provider enrollment process in Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) until March 1, 2020. Read Rule
CMS Publishes Interoperability and Patient Access Proposed Rule
The proposed rule focuses on promoting interoperability of electronic health information and encompasses all health programs that CMS administers.
Evidence-Informed Policy
Mathematica and ASPE Report: The Use of Evidence to Drive Decision-Making in Government
This report presents the findings from the Policy Analysis and Decision-Making Capacity project. The purpose of the interviews was to understand the context of how evaluation and research results are used to make decisions within government and to identify opportunities for improvements in that decision-making process. Read Report
Social Impact Partnership Grants
Department of the Treasury Publishes Notice of Funding Availability
The Department of the Treasury is soliciting applications from state and local governments for Social Impact Partnerships to Pay for Results Act Demonstration Projects. The grant program, which was created in 2018 by the Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA), reimagines the prevailing structure of federal grants by providing funding to grantees only upon the successful completion of projects that meet target outcomes, as determined by an independent evaluator. This Issue Brief provides background on Social Impact Partnerships and information on the funding announcement.
Upcoming Webinars
ACF Predictive Analytics Webinar
Carlis Williams, Region 4 Administrator for the Administration for Children and Families, invites you to join a discussion and learning exchange focused on predictive analytics.

The webinar will promote awareness of the issues related to utilizing analytics to support more effective and efficient human service design and delivery. It will also provide attendees with added connections and resources that can add value as work in each state unfolds.

Tuesday, March 12 | 10:30 - 12:00 PM EST
The Future of Human Services Webinar Series - Stepping into the Human Services 2035 Scenarios
During the third webinar, we will “step into” the future of human services and human progress in the year 2035, exploring the four national scenarios. This session will train participants to think like a futurist and to use the scenarios in their organization or community to enhance their strategic planning, review their vision and better create their preferred future.

Wednesday, March 27 | 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM, ET
Outcomes-Based Financing: A Model For Next-Generation
Public-Private Partnerships
The Massachusetts Pathways for Economic Advancement Project and Maycomb Capital have developed a cutting-edge model for public-private partnerships that enables federal, state and local governments to partner with high performing service providers and use private capital to expand social programs.

The key players from the Massachusetts/Maycomb Capital partnership and APHSA's Center for Economic and Employment Well-Being (CEEWB) will explain exactly how outcome-based financing works and how your agency can utilize public-private partnerships to improve the well-being of your communities. Co-presented by CEEWB & The Maycomb Capital Community Outcomes Fund.

Thursday, April 4 | 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM EST
Upcoming Conferences
APHSA National HHS Summit
APHSA is elevating critical policy discussions and providing an opportunity for collective conversations with the Administration and Congress for a shared path forward for a modern, responsive and effective human service system.

This year’s National Summit is designed to showcase transformation efforts underway across the nation focusing on:
  • Operational Optimization
  • Healthier Communities Through Prevention
  • Policy and Practice Solutions for Family and Community Well-Being
  • Equity

May 19-22 | Crystal Gateway Marriott | Alexandria, VA
State Healthcare IT Connect Summit 
States are coordinating major initiatives including data governance and interoperability, Medicaid modernization, MMIS re-procurement, HIX operations, payment reform, population health, program integrity as well as data privacy, security, and compliance issues at many levels.

Cross-cutting agenda themes include Data Quality, IT Service Management, Project Portfolio Optimization, Interoperability, Consumer Empowerment, Security and Compliance will also be discussed across the track sessions.

March 18-20 | Hilton Baltimore | 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.