July 10, 2020
We hope everyone had a good 4 th  of July holiday break with some much deserved time to relax. The Senate continues to be on recess and we will take another short break too; look for us back in your inbox on July 24.
Be sure to check out our latest blog posts, one from our friends at the Migration Policy Institute, Promoting the Well-Being of Immigrant Families at a Time of Urgent Need , as well as a new piece from our own Phil Basso, Moving Towards Racial Equity: Not Your Typical Western . You can also continue to access our COVID-19 related resources including our policy analysis and a collection of federal guidance here .
Legislative Updates
House Appropriations Committee Releases Draft Bill for Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations

On Monday, the House Appropriations Committee released a draft bill for Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations. Among other allocations, the bill includes $24.8 billion in discretionary funds to the Administration for Children and Family, a $317 million increase from FY2020; $10.6 billion for Department of Labor Employment and Training, a $187 million increase from FY2020; $5.9 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant, an increase of $100 million from FY 2020. The Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies held a Subcommittee Markup on Tuesday.

House Appropriations Committee Releases Draft Agriculture Funding Bill

The House Appropriations Committee released a draft bill for Agricultural Appropriations late last week that included funding for t he Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program ( SNAP), t he Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and Child Nutrition Programs. It also included language that would block implementation of the Able Bodied Adult Without Dependents (ABAWD) Final Rule and the proposed rule regarding changes to Standard Utility Allowances. The House performed a speedy markup with little debate this week, and plans to vote on the bill next week.

Jobs for Economic Recovery Act

Last week, the Jobs for Economic Recovery Act was introduced. The Act would provide immediate funding for states and local governments to create or expand employment programs through a new Social Security Act jobs program, which would finance six months of wages for public, private, or nonprofit jobs. Funds could also be used for job training and supportive services. The Act would fund state programs at a matching rate determined by economic conditions and the state’s Federal Medical Assistance Percentages ( FMAP) rate. When the unemployment rate is above 7%, there will be a dollar-for-dollar federal match.

H.R. 2, The Moving Forward Act

On July 1, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass H.R. 2, the Moving Forward Act, which will invest more than $1.5 trillion in American roads, bridges, transit, schools, housing, broadband, health care infrastructure, and much more. The bill aims to transform transportation planning models and programs. The bill will now be moved to the Senate for consideration.

Modification to 2016 Equal Access Rule

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently announced a modification to the 2016 Equal Access Rule. As of 2016, the Equal Access Rule explicitly prohibited single-sex HUD shelters from turning away transgender individuals that identify with the gender of the shelter. Under the new modification, this rule would be ended, and shelter providers would solely be required to establish policies consistent with federal, state, and local law, to accommodate persons based on sex. Additionally, the determination of sex by the shelter providers would be based on a good faith belief and providers would be required to make transfer recommendations for the individuals if they do not provide shelter.

HHS Indicates Extension of COVID-19 Public Emergency Declaration

HHS Secretary Alex Azar has strongly indicated that the Administration would extend the coronavirus public health emergency before it expires on July 25th. The extension would likely last until late October and allow states to redeploy federally funded personnel to focus on virus response, as well as promote flexibility for health insurance programs like Medicare and Medicaid.

Employment and Economic Well-Being
FNS Issues Call to Action Regarding SNAP Error Rates

On Monday, the USDA Food and Nutrition Service released the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) payment error rates for FY2019, along with a call to action emphasizing the importance of payment accuracy and efficiency. Letters to states included the requirement of corrective action plans and the notice that states who fail to comply will have their 50% reimbursement of SNAP administrative funds withheld.

FNS Releases Non-Competitive Grant Opportunity for State SNAP Agency Evaluation of Income Data Sources

The Food and Nutrition Service has release a non-competitive grant opportunity for states to evaluate the usage of automated income data sources, such as The Work Number, to verify income that determines household eligibility and benefit amounts. Applications are due by COB on Monday, July 27. Grants will range from $57,000 to $250,00 and will be awarded before September 30, 2020.

An Update to the Economic Outlook: 2020 to 2030

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) issued a report titled “An Update to the Economic Outlook: 2020 to 2030,” presenting the baseline economic forecast CBO is currently using for budget projections for the next ten years. The report indicates that in the first quarter of 2020, the pandemic triggered the deepest downturn in output and employment since World War II. The annual unemployment rate, which was projected to average 4.2 percent, is now projected to average 6.1 percent.

From Our APHSA Partners
CBPP Releases Outreach Toolkit Resources to Support State Outreach to Non-Filers Eligible for Stimulus Payments for Stimulus Checks

The Center on Budget Policy and Priorities (CBPP) has created a toolkit of outreach resources including scripts, step-by-step instructions, and FAQs, that are tailored to human services agencies to conduct outreach to t he Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Medicaid households that may be eligible for stimulus checks.

Urban Institute Releases COVID-19 Equitable Recovery Tracker

The COVID-19 Equitable Recovery Tracker from Urban Institute provides timely information and analysis of data disaggregated by race, ethnicity, and geography to inform race-conscious and equity-minded public, private, and philanthropic recovery efforts. The tool uses the near-real-time Househo l d Pulse Survey data to track a set of measures for U.S. households as the pandemic and recovery unfold. It will be updated weekly in the coming months.

Upcoming Webinars & Events
APHSA Webinar Series - The Family First Prevention Services Act:
A Two-Part Series from Introduction to Implementation

Part One: An Overview of Family First Requirements

Join us along with speakers from the Children’s Bureau, the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, the Administration for Children and Families and Abt Associates. The Children’s Bureau will provide a high-level overview of Family First legislation with an emphasis on the Title IV-E Prevention Services Program. The goal is for state evaluators to understand what study designs, statistical analyses, etc. are required for future studies to meet the clearinghouse’s evidence review standards.

Tuesday, July 14, 1:00-2:00 PM EST
Part Two: Moving to Application

Join us along with speakers from the Children’s Bureau, the Administration for Children and Families, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, the Arkansas Department of Human Services, Kaye Implementation and Evaluation, Kinnect and Chapin Hall. Researchers from Chapin Hall will discuss how states have approached the requirements for Kinship Navigation and Prevention Plans. Information will be shared on the process states have used to set up the plans, including important decisions points. A state representative will discuss how their state approached the evaluation requirements of the law in their plan.

Thursday, July 16, 1:00-2:00 PM EST
APHSA Webinar - Juvenile Justice in the Age of COVID-19: Response and Strategies from NYC

Join KPMG along with speakers from the Administration for Children's Services and the Division of Youth and Family Justice. At the heart of the global epicenter of the pandemic, the New York City Administration for Children's Services Division of Youth and Family Justice had to quickly take action to protect the youth in its care and their families while promoting continuity in programming and education. This webinar will detail various actions and strategies implemented across the City's continuum of juvenile justice programs and facilities, from policy changes, staffing adjustments, to coordination with other agencies and foundations.

Friday, July 17, 1:00-2:00 PM EST
SNAP-Ed Connection and SNAP-Ed Toolkit’s 3 Part Webinar Series

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) Connection and SNAP-Ed Toolkit will be hosting a three-part webinar series starting July 25, that will feature state and local SNAP-Ed programs that are creating, innovating, and delivering SNAP-Ed remotely during the COVID-19 era. This webinar is an opportunity to learn how partners across the country are adapting to a new virtual environment, whether it be by modifying existing digital nutrition education platforms or reinventing delivery methods.

Tuesday, July 28, 1:00-2:30 PM EST
Adapting SNAP-Ed Programming to Remote Delivery

Tuesday, August 4, 1:00-2:30 PM EST
Measuring and Evaluating Impact

Tuesday, August 11, 1:00-2:30 PM EST
Collecting and Reporting Data
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.