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CALL TO ACTION
Please consider contacting your congressional delegation and urging them to co-sponsor the following bills: the Disaster Assistance Simplification Act, the Restore the Partnership Act and the Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act. (link)
NCSL Letter on RAWA
NCSL wrote in support of the reintroduction and passage of the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act. The act will ensure states have the requisite funding to address conservation needs within their boundaries. (link)
HHS Announces New State Flexibilities in Medicaid Unwinding
The new flexibilities include allowing managed care plans to help people receiving Medicaid complete their renewal forms and allowing pharmacies and community-based organizations to facilitate reinstatement of Medicaid coverage for people who recently lost coverage for procedural reasons based on presumptive eligibility criteria. The Health and Human Services announcement also allows states to delay procedural terminations for one month to conduct additional outreach. Procedural disenrollments occur when people with Medicaid have not completed the renewal process even though they may still be eligible. This can happen because an enrollee doesn’t understand or complete the paperwork within the timeline and/or because the state does not have current contact information for the person. Though it is still early in the unwinding process, 76% of disenrollments in the 21 states that have provided data thus far have been due to procedural reasons.
Read more, including HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra’s letter to governors regarding state flexibilities and a look at previously approved unwinding flexibilities by state.
House and Senate Committees Move On FY 2024 Spending Bills
This year’s debt ceiling and deficit reduction debate hampered efforts to advance the 12 appropriations bills that Congress passes each year to fund the federal government. The House Appropriations Committee hearings that began last month were suspended as a debt and deficit compromise became imminent. The deal, which President Biden signed into law on June 3, sets overall levels for discretionary and non-discretionary spending. With levels set, appropriators can move forward each of the annual bills with the goal of passage by Sept. 30. The Congressional Research Service tracks all spending bills with links to Appropriations Committee press releases and reports and can be viewed here.
NCSL will continue to provide appropriations updates as the process progresses.
House Hearing on the Future Regulatory Structure of Digital Assets
The House Financial Services Committee discussed the future regulatory structure of digital assets and draft legislation to provide a regulatory framework. Comments from Chairman Patrick Henry (R-N.C.) and ranking member Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) conveyed a bipartisan need to build out a framework that keeps America at the forefront of digital asset innovation. During questioning, Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) expressed the importance of ensuring states would have input in this larger regulatory framework. Livestream of the hearing can be viewed here.
Supreme Court Updates
Supreme Court Upholds Indian Child Welfare Act
Last week, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Indian Child Welfare Act in a case addressing sovereignty in adoption proceedings involving Native American children. In Haaland v. Brackeen, the plaintiffs challenged the constitutionality of the federal law, which was enacted in 1978 to keep Indian children connected to Indian families. The act prioritizes child placement with Indian families from the child’s tribe or another Indian tribe and protects the right of the child’s tribe to intervene. Read more.
Supreme Court Upholds Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act
The Supreme Court ruled on June 8 that the recently redistricted Alabama congressional map likely violated Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act by diluting the votes of Black residents. The justices maintained the status quo by siding with Black voters in the Alabama case and leaving the door open, for now, for cases that allege racial gerrymandering. Read more.