Capitol to Capitol
An Information Service of NCSL's Standing Committees

Attention Readers ...

THE LATEST ON ECONOMIC RECOVERY.
NCSL will conduct its fifth conference call on the economic recovery package on Thursday, Feb. 12, 2009, at 3:00 p.m. EST.

To participate, email and the call-in information will be sent to you. In the meantime, contact the following NCSL staff for updates on:

Issue

Volume 17, Issue 29, September 17, 2010

 

THE END IS NEAR

Federal FY 2010 concludes Thursday, Sept. 30, 2010. For the 13th consecutive year, congress will greet FY 2011 without finishing all of its annual appropriations work. For the fourth time in eight years, none of the dozen annual appropriations measures have made their way to the President’s desk. Thus, a first continuing resolution (CR) will be taken up this week by both the House and Senate as Congress heads into a pre-election recess. The CR will extend to a date after the Nov. 2 elections and will keep state-federal programs funded at their FY 2010 levels. Unresolved at this time is whether the CR will be “clean” (devoid of extraneous measures) or contain reauthorization extensions (see story below), or select funding additions. (NCSL staff contacts: Michael Bird, Jeff Hurley) 


WELFARE PROGRAMS UP AGAINST DEADLINE

On Sept. 30, 2010, authority for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant, TANF supplemental grants, TANF emergency contingency fund and state use of child support incentive funds to match federal dollars expires. All but the TANF block grant require either a specific reauthorization or an extension in order for federal funding to continue. The TANF block grant requires a similar reauthorization or extension for states to have certainty regarding program funding and rules. Renewing the ability of states to use federal child support incentive funds to draw down additional federal funding avoids an unfunded federal mandate in the program. A letter, signed by Massachusetts Senator Richard Moore, NCSL President, supporting the child support incentive payment structure is available at http://www.ncsl.org/default.aspx?TabId=21340. At this time, the only vehicle likely to move this week that could remedy the reauthorization or extension need is the continuing resolution (CR). State legislators should call congressional leaders and delegations and urge them to extend or reauthorize all four of these key state-federal programs this week.  (NCSL staff contacts: Sheri Steisel, Lee Posey)


HOUSE PASSES STATE CHILD WELFARE AUTHORITY REINSTATEMENT

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously approved H.R. 6156, NCSL-supported legislation renewing and expanding federal waiver authority to test innovative strategies in state child welfare programs. The legislation, supported in NCSL letters to the House and Senate and signed by New Hampshire Representative Mary Jane Wallner and Alaska Representative Wes Keller (co-chairs of NCSL’s Human Services and Welfare Committee), will give states “enhanced ability to provide early intervention and crisis intervention services” to reduce out-of home placements and help children who are at risk of abuse and neglect. With Congress on the verge of recess, state legislators should call their U.S. Senators and urge them to pass H.R. 6156 this week. The full text of the NCSL letter is available at http://www.ncsl.org/default.aspx?TabId=21338. (NCSL staff contacts: Sheri Steisel, Lee Posey)


STATE SMALL BUSINESS CREDIT INITIATIVE ENACTED

Today President Barack Obama signed H.R. 5297, legislation establishing a $30 billion lending fund for small business loans and providing $1.5 billion in new state formula grants for funding state capital access and other lending programs. This latter program, entitled the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI), requires states to express intent to apply for funds within 60 days of enactment and 9 months to submit plans for approval. States may run their own programs or contract with other states, non-profit or for-profit entities. Awards to individual small businesses for programs to increase loan-loss reserves, venture capital, credit guarantees and collateral support are capped at $5 million. State formula grant funding will be determined by state employment and unemployment rate data. (NCSL staff contacts: Michael Bird, Jeff Hurley (fiscal), Neal Osten (commerce))