June 21, 2019
We’re bringing you another week of the latest health and human services updates from Congress and the Administration as well as other happenings in our field. Continue below and don’t forget to check out our upcoming affinity group conferences if you haven’t already done so! You can find them here or in the conference section below.
Legislative Update
House Passes Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Minibus
This week, the House voted to pass the Labor-HHS-Education (LHHS) Appropriations bill (226 to 203), which was part of a minibus including Energy-Water, and State-Foreign Operations appropriations bills. There is no word on when the Senate will take up this minibus or any of the appropriations bills. Right now, the Senate is focused on working through and passing a bipartisan spending agreement, which would provide the spending caps for the 12 fiscal year 2020 appropriations bills. APHSA will provide a breakdown of key HHS provisions within the LHHS bill next week.
Legislation to Address Children, Families, and Communities Who Experience Trauma Introduced
On June 10, Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) introduced S. 1770 – A bill to improve the identification and support of children and families who experience trauma. A House version of the bill, H.R. 3180 , was introduced by Representative Danny Davis (D-IL) the same day. The bill makes amendments to the Public Health Service Act, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2014, the National and Community Service Act of 1990, and the National Foundation on the Arts and Humanities Act of 1965 to invest in and expand trauma-informed community programming. The bill also makes investments in increasing and improving workforce development training for professionals working with individuals, children and families, and communities that experience high levels of trauma, violence, or addiction, including health care providers, teachers, and members of law enforcement.
New Bills Introduced to Support Job Training Program
On Wednesday, Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee introduced 13 bills to improve the Health Profession Opportunity Grant (HPOG) program. Administered by the Administration for Children and Families, the HPOG program was created to provide education and training to TANF recipients and other low-income individuals for occupations in the health care field that pay well and are expected to either experience labor shortages or be in high demand. In addition to the bills, Democrats plan to introduce legislation that will reauthorize the HPOG program before its current authorization expires on September 30, 2019. 
Child and Family Well-Being
Joint Letter from HHS & DHS Regarding Humanitarian Aid to the Southern Border
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Department of Defense, and the Department of Justice requested $4.5 billion in emergency appropriations on May 1 for the humanitarian and security crisis on the southern border. On June 12, HHS and DHS sent a letter to Congress, describing the urgency of the situation at the border, and encouraging Congress members to appropriate the funding as soon as possible. Because of the lack of supplemental funding, the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) has had scale back or discontinue awards, and to address this, ORR released a FAQ sheet on June 14, Deficiency Restrictions on ORR Care Provider Educational and Recreation Services
Research Report: Expanding Child Care Subsidies
The Urban Institute shares an abstract that explores what would happen if child care subsidies were funded so every family with income below 150 percent of the federal poverty guidelines that is eligible under their state’s other rules could get a subsidy if desired. Findings included at least a 3% reduction in the number of children living in poverty and that more parents would be able to work, incomes would be raised and poverty reduced.
Prevention Services Clearinghouse Website Launches
The Prevention Services Clearinghouse, established to evaluate and rate prevention services and programs under Family First, has released the first set of ratings. Of the 10 programs or services listed; 5 are rated well supported, 1 is rated supported, 1 is rated promising and 3 did not meet the criteria all together. Programs can be submitted for evaluation at any time and official national calls for programs will happen twice annually. 
Employment and Economic Well-Being
FCC Seeks Comments on Capping the Universal Service Fund
On June 13 the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) published a notice of proposed rulemaking seeking comment on establishing a cap on the Universal Service Fund (USF) and among other changes, prioritizing funding among the four USF programs:
  • High-Cost Program - provides support to certain qualifying telecommunications companies working to expand connectivity infrastructure in unserved or underserved areas.
  • Lifeline Program - helps low-income households obtain the voice and broadband connectivity services they need to participate and function society and the workforce.
  • Schools and Libraries (E-Rate) Program - provides discounts to keep eligible schools and libraries connected to broadband and voice services.
  • Rural Health Care Program - allows rural health care providers to pay rates for telecommunications services similar to those of their urban counterparts, making telehealth services affordable. 
The FCC has taken steps over the last decade to set caps or funding targets for each of the four programs individually. It is now considering implementing a cap for the overall fund. Comments are due by July 15.
House Agriculture’s Nutrition Subcommittee Holds Hearing on SNAP Broad-Based Categorical Eligibility
On June 20, the House Agriculture’s Nutrition, Oversight, and Department Operations Subcommittee held a hearing entitled, “The Potential Implications of Eliminating Broad-Based Categorical Eligibility for SNAP Households.” Witnesses included the Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin, the executive director of the Mississippi Department of Human Services, and representatives from No Kid Hungry/Share Our Strength, and The Urban Institute’s Income and Benefits Policy Center.
House Budget Committee Holds Hearing on Poverty in America
On June 19, the House Budget Committee held a hearing entitled “Poverty in America: Economic Realities of Struggling Families.” Witnesses included faith leaders representing for the Poor People’s Campaign, the Christian Home Educators’ Support System (CHESS), and Frontline Youth Communications. Representatives and witnesses discussed poverty in relation to issues such as racial inequity, housing and homelessness, wages, and the social safety-net.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) shared a FAQ sheet on Advanced Planning Documents (APD) for System Development Associated with 1115 Demonstrations. The FAQs provide states with funding information for Medicaid information technology system development.
ACF Issues Guidance on Assigned Medical Support Collection
Policy Interpretation questions are answered by ACF in consultation with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on incentive payments for assigned medical support collections from a state Medicaid agency.
The Effect of Stable Housing on Foster Care Youth
Federal, state, local, and nonprofit programs nationwide are being shaped by evidence that shows when young adults transition out of foster care with stable housing, it helps lead to their success. Coordination between child welfare systems, youth advocates, and housing providers is key to providing these youth access to the resources and guidance they need.
Building Actionable Evidence For Housing & Health Policies
Policies For Action shares a blog post that explores facets of the housing-health relationship and the social determinants on low-income populations. Those shaping housing policies at the local, state, and federal levels will need actionable evidence for progress and the amount of quality studies has been minimal.
Notice of Monthly Fee Rates for PHAs Announced by HUD
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced the monthly per unit fee rates for CY2019 used in determining the administrative fees for Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) administering the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV), Mainstream, and Moderate Rehabilitation programs, including the Moderate Rehabilitation Single Room Occupancy program.
Upcoming Events
State of the Nation’s Housing
to discuss the State of the Nation’s Housing  report, which shows that housing production still falls short of what is needed, keeping pressure on house prices and rents and eroding affordability. While demographic trends alone should support a vibrant housing market over the coming decade, realizing this potential depends heavily on whether the market can provide a broader and more affordable range of housing options for tomorrow’s households.

June 25, 12:00 PM EST | The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Atlanta GA
Event will also be livestreamed.
National Association for Welfare Research and Statistics ( NAWRS) Workshop
The NAWRS 2019 Workshop will have presentations on topics including child support, coaching, early childhood education, child care, foster care, substance abuse, workforce programs including SNAP E&T, and more. Additionally, they will have several exciting Research Academy sessions to discuss how to incorporate rigorous research methods into ongoing agency efforts to improve and document program effectiveness.

July 28 - 31 | Omni Royal Orleans Hotel, New Orleans, LA
Upcoming Webinars and Podcasts
Pathways to High-Quality Jobs for Young Adults
The Self-Sufficiency Research Clearinghouse (SSRC) will host a webinar exploring job quality for young adults, including the ways in which interventions and policies can support youth from disadvantaged backgrounds to gain higher quality jobs.

June 12, 2:00–3:30 PM EST
Research In The Next 50 Years
To celebrate their 50th birthday, The Urban Institute hosted a podcast thinking about the role of research to support changemakers for the next five decades. Host Justin Milner talks with Urban Institute president Sarah Rosen Wartell and preeminent leaders from different sectors about key challenges facing our society and the way forward.
Upcoming Conferences
National Association for Program Information and Performance Measurement (NAPIPM) Annual Education Conference
The 2019 NAPIPM Annual Education Conference is a comprehensive learning and networking experience for dedicated human services professionals responsible for improving the performance measurement capabilities of their agencies. Join your colleagues from across the nation for a series of information-rich presentations and breakout sessions focusing on reshaping today’s service delivery systems.

August 5-8 | Sheraton Memphis Downtown, Memphis, TN
American Association of SNAP Directors (AASD) & National Association of State TANF Administrators (NASTA) Education Conference
The 2019 AASD/NASTA Annual Conference is designed to assist Health and Human Service leaders and policy makers to shape the future of SNAP and TANF programs through collaboration and modernization and the exchange of experience and knowledge amongst attendees. Join your colleagues from across the nation for a series of information-rich presentations and breakout sessions focused on advancing SNAP and TANF programs.

August 25-28 | Hilton Charlotte Center City, Charlotte, NC
Information Technology Solutions Management for Human Services (ISM) Annual Conference
The 2019 ISM Conference is the premiere conference for health and human services IT leaders, focusing on innovative IT solutions. For 52 years, the ISM Conference has brought together the brightest minds from public H/HS agencies, private industry, academia and community-based organizations to showcase the future of H/HS Information Technology. The 2019 topics will include: Data Analytics, Modernizing the Workforce, Inventive Strategies, Operationalizing Technology, Technology in Service of Customers and more.

September 22-25 | Milwaukee, WI
National Staff Development and Training Association (NSDTA), AASD/NASTA Award & Scholarship Opportunities
Opportunities to nominate your peers and apply for scholarships are now open for NSDTA and AASD/NASTA.

NSDTA Recognition Awards are to recognize outstanding individuals and initiatives within your organization which are helping advance the delivery of health and human services practices or programs to staff. Nominations close on Saturday, July 13.

NSDTA Joan Carrera Memorial Scholarships allow first time attendees to attend the conference at partial to no cost. Scholarships are open to anyone who provides training or organizational development technical assistance to public human services employees. Application closes on Saturday, July 13.

AASD/NASTA Distinguished Service Awards offer the opportunity to recognize outstanding performance in the design, delivery, management and administration of the SNAP and TANF Programs by human services employees and programs. Awards are open to any individual, agency, company, or program that provides SNAP or TANF services. Nominations close on Friday, July 19.
National Association of Counties (NACo) Annual Conference & Exhibition
The NACo Annual Conference & Expos ition is the largest meeting of county elected and appointed officials from across the country. Participants from counties of all sizes come together to shape NACo's federal policy agenda, share proven practices and strengthen knowledge networks to help improve residents’ lives and the efficiency of county government.

July 12-15 | Las Vegas, NV
A Home for Everyone Annual Conference
A Home for Everyone conference hosted by the Wisconsin Collaborative for Affordable Housing focuses on issues for low-income families and individuals. Their mission is to provide access to decent, safe and affordable housing for economically disadvantaged households in Wisconsin through the preservation and development of housing and housing services by promoting effective collaboration between public, private and community organization.

July 17 – 18 | The Lismore Hotel, Eau Claire, WI
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.