2017 Federal Priorities
The CWDA Board of Directors adopted the following 2017 priorities at their annual directors workshop in December.
Affordable Care Act
- Oppose efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, including provisions terminating eligibility and financing of Medicaid expansion and repealing insurance premium subsidies for lower to moderate income individuals.
- Oppose efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act without an accompanying plan to replace it with provisions continuing health care coverage and access to individuals and families currently covered by the ACA.
- Oppose Affordable Care Act repeal and replace provisions shifting federal costs of ACA or other current health care financing to state and county governments.
- Oppose efforts to reduce or block grant federal funding for Medicaid administration or benefits, including efforts to place a per-capita cap on funding or limiting the ability of states to leverage funds through assessments on providers.
Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
- Support Congressional action to fully fund CHIP early in 2017 to give the State and counties certainty in budgeting for the upcoming state fiscal year.
- Oppose efforts to strike the current CHIP provision providing a 23 percentage point boost in the federal contribution above the normal 65 percent federal match for CHIP.
- Oppose the Family First Prevention Services Act until federal provisions are amended to better align with current Continuum of Care Reform initiatives and prevention services administered in California.
- Support federal funding to respond to the service needs of youth who are victims of commercial sexual exploitation.
- Support efforts to reform child welfare financing, including providing IV-E federal foster care match funding for prevention activities.
- As an alternative to monthly, in-person visits, support a provision allowing for the “skyping” of non-minor foster youth in the extended foster care program when the youth is attending college or living with relatives in another state or out of country.
- Increase federal funding for services and income support needed by parents seeking to reunify with children who are in foster care.
- Increase federal financial support for programs that assist foster youth in the transition to self-sufficiency, including post-emancipation assistance such as secondary education, job training, and access to health care.
- Change federal law limiting extended guardianship and adoption under Fostering Connections only for youth whose adoption or guardianship was established at age 16 or older in order since it is a disincentive for permanency for these children.
- Retain the entitlement nature of the Title IV-E Foster Care and Adoption Assistance programs and eliminate outdated rules that base the child’s eligibility for funds on parental income and circumstances.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Oppose efforts to block grant the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
- Work with the federal government to ensure that SNAP reauthorization regulations and/or guidance on the bar on receipt of benefits for certain felons convicted of violent crimes is feasible administratively. Section 4008 of the 2014 Farm Bill bans receipt of benefits for those ex-felons who have served their time but who have violated the terms of their post-sentencing and/or probation.
- Work with the federal government and national partners to increase outreach and enrollment for SNAP/CalFresh.
- Identify opportunities to streamline and simplify federal requirements for SNAP recipients to enhance enrollment and retention.
- Provide additional flexibility for states to align SNAP/CalFresh eligibility and processes with state TANF/CalWORKs programs.
- Improve timeliness of data provided by the Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) to states for use in administering SNAP.
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Reauthorization
I. Maintaining the overall work focus of the program, while recognizing that “work first” does not mean “work only.” Research indicates that the most successful welfare-to-work programs combine work with training and supportive services, as appropriate. CWDA supports a permanent authorization and appropriation of funding for subsidized employment.
II. Restoring and enhancing state and county flexibility to tailor work and family stabilization activities to families’ individual needs.
III. Measuring states’ performance in a fair and comprehensive manner that recognizes multiple potential positive outcomes for families.
IV. Rebuilding the partnership between the federal government, states and counties and move forward with common goals.
Adult and Disability Services
- Appropriate $100 million authorized under the Elder Justice Act to support state and county adult protective services programs.
- Oppose the termination of the Social Services Block Grant, which in California is used primarily to augment county and state funded in-home supportive services for elderly and disabled persons, and to coordinate services to children with disabilities.
- Oppose federal proposals to require electronic visit verification systems (EVV) for personal care and home health care services and accompanying Medicaid sanctions for non-compliance.
Legal Immigrant Benefits
- Restore benefits to legal immigrants that were ended by the 1996 welfare reform legislation.
Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)
- Support increased federal funding for the new priority under WIOA for out-of-school