State ISSUES –2016
SALT Legislative Proposals/Patron’s Updates—March 10, 2016 --
Reason to celebrate! We did it! You did it!
Thanks to your persistent advocacy our three SALT Budget Items and one SALT bill passed.
Thank your Delegate & Senator and our outstanding patrons: Senator Barbara Favola; Delegate Mark Sickles, Delegate Kaye Kory, Delegate Paul Krizek and Delegate Alfonso Lopez. Special thanks to our NOVA Conferees: Senators Dick Saslaw, Janet Howell and the lone Democratic conferee from the House—Delegate Luke Torian—thank them!
This is the most substantial win yet!
View Budget Items below! With thanks! john
Increase TANF Benefit: Item 342 #2c
|by Senator Barbara Favola, Delegate Kaye Kory, Delegate Paul Krizek||First Year - FY2017||Second Year - FY2018|
|Department of Social Services||FY2017 $2,215,665||FY2018 $2,437,332||NGF|
"M. The Department of Social Services shall increase the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) cash benefits by 2.5 percent on July 1, 2016."
Explanation: (This amendment increases the cash benefit for the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program by 2.5 percent on July 1, 2016. The current monthly TANF benefit averages $259 per month for a family. Since 1995 when TANF was created, there have only been two increases in the benefit, the most recent was 2.5 percent on January 1, 2016. The funding is from the federal TANF block grant.)
Provide TANF Child Support Supplemental Payment: Item 342 #1c
|By Delegate Mark Sickles||First Year - FY2017||Second Year - FY2018|
|Health and Human Resources|
|Department of Social Services||FY2017 $0||FY2018 $4,800,000||NGF|
"M. Out of this appropriation, the Department of Social Services shall use $4,800,000 the second year from the federal Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) block grant to provide to each TANF recipient with two or more children in the assistance unit a monthly TANF supplement equal to the amount the Division of Child Support Enforcement collects up to $200, less the $100 disregard passed through to such recipient. The TANF child support supplement shall be paid within two months following collection of the child support payment or payments used to determine the amount of such supplement. For purposes of determining eligibility for medical assistance services, the TANF supplement described in this paragraph shall be disregarded. In the event there are sufficient federal TANF funds to provide all other assistance required by the TANF State Plan, the Commissioner may use unobligated federal TANF block grant funds in excess of this appropriation to provide the TANF supplement described in this paragraph."
Explanation: (This amendment adds $4.8 million the second year from the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) block grant and language to require the Department of Social Services to provide TANF recipients with two or more children a monthly TANF supplemental payment equal to any child support payments received on their behalf up to $200. This amount would not be counted in determining eligibility for Medicaid.)
Increase TANF Funds for Workforce Training at Community Colleges: Item 348 #5c
|By Senator Barbara Favola|
|First Year - FY2017||Second Year - FY2018|
|Department of Social Services||FY2017 $2,000,0002||FY018 $2,000,000||NGF|
Explanation: (This amendment provides $2.0 million each year from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant to provide job training at Virginia community colleges for TANF recipients. Currently, three community colleges offer this service. This funding would allow the services to be offered at five additional community colleges.)
HB 991 Virginia Initiative for Employment not Welfare (VIEW); education and training programs.
Introduced by: Delegate Alfonso H. Lopez
Virginia Initiative for Employment Not Welfare; education and training programs. Allows local departments of social services to place VIEW participants who are in need of job skills and who would benefit from additional job skills training in an apprenticeship program developed by the local department in accordance with requirements established by the Department of Social Services.
“SALT Legislative Proposals/Patron’s Updates—Support TANF Budget Amendments in the final Budget March 7, 2016 –“
On behalf of 1200 faith-based SALT members, we urge you to support the following TANF Budget Amendments in Conference:
1. Support Senate Budget Item 342 #3s to use federal Block Grant Funds to increase TANF cash assistance 2.5% effective 7-1-16; and
2. Support Child Support Pass Through to families; not government @ $200/month---House Budget Amendment -- Item 342 #3h in amount of $9.6 million (NGF); and
3. Support House Budget Amendment Item 285 #2h to Restore Funding to CSA from Eliminating Foster Care to 21. Senate extends foster care services at $1.9 million.
Thank you for your public service!
Action Alert! Where are we in the Legislative Process
Updated Highlights of SALT 2016 Sponsored bills. Please contact your Delegate and Senator to communicate your support for SALT priorities.
Watch for SALT ALERTS AS THESE BILLS COME-UP FOR A VOTE IN COMMITTEE AND SUBCOMMITTEE.
SALT Legislative Proposals/Patron’s Updates—February 14, 2016 --
Legislative Session Continues: This session has proved to be quite eventful.
The past few days—and the next few—are the busiest of the 2016 General Assembly Session.Thank our patrons for their leadership and keep advocating. Visit the SALT Web site for more information. john
1. Phone Commission fairness for prisoners and their families — SB 322 – Sen. Adam Ebbin – **(passed the Senate 37-2; Now to the House)**
2. Ban the Box—Sen. Rosalyn Dance - SB 335 – **(Passed the Senate 26-14; Referred to House Commerce and Labor Committee)**
3. Count Remedial Education Toward Welfare Work Requirement—Del. Lopez – HB 991-** (Supported Unanimously in HWI #3; passed House 97-0)**
4. Support Foster Futures - SB 436 - Sen. Favola-**(Passed Rehab & Soc. Servs. Committee UNANIMOUSLY; passed Sen. Finance 15-0; passed Senate 39-0)**
5. Kinship Guardianship Assistance Program - SB 433- Sen. Favola-**(passed Senate 39-0)
6. TANF; Commission on Youth to Study DSS Administration of Program - SJ 95 -Sen. Favola-**(passed Senate 39-0)
SALT Legislative Proposals/Patron’s Updates—February 5, 2016 --
Legislative Session Continues: We are officially four weeks into this long session. With subcommittee and committee meetings, hours meeting with legislators. this session has proved to be quite eventful.
1. SALT proposals/issues—TANF (Welfare Reform) needs to be reformed--
Del. Kaye Kory — HB 1129 - TANF Increase –Indexing with Budget Amendment Item 342 #5h – Tabled (defeated) on a voice vote in Health Welfare& Institutions SubCommittee #3.
Del. Paul Krizek -- HB 1184 – 10% TANF Increase – Budget Amendment Item 342 #1h - Tabled (defeated) on a voice vote - Health Welfare& Institutions SubCommittee #3.
2. Non-Supplantation – --
Sen. George Barker --- Budget Amendment Item 342 #4s—TANF Caseload and Expenditure Report
Del. Lopez – HB 990 -- Non-Supplantation - Use TANF Block Grant Funds for TANF Core Purposes -– Tabled (defeated) without reason on a voice vote in (HWI) Health Welfare& Institutions SubCommittee #3.
Del. Mark Sickles---HB 1028 Non-Supplantation -- House: Subcommittee (defeated) recommends laying on the table by voice vote
3. Provide Assistance for Foster Care Youth to Attend College— Del. Kathleen Murphy --- Budget Amendment only -- Item # 346 #2h
4. Phone Commission fairness for prisoners and their families — SB 322 – Sen. Ebbin – (Passed Senate 37-2; Now to the House)**
Phone Commission fairness for prisoners and their families -- HB 91— Del. Hope - Recommended laying on the table by Public Safety Committee
5. Ban the Box—Sen. Dance SB 335 - Passed the Senate (26-14)**
Ban the Box -- Betsy Carr HB 530 –assigned to HouseGeneral Laws Committee #4 -- failed in General Laws SubCommittee on a 3Y–4N vote - 1 R voted with us.
6. Child Support Pass through to family; not government/Income disregard @ $200---Budget Amendment -- Item 342 #3h --Del. Mark Sickles
7. Virginia Back to School Supplies and Clothing Allowance for kids in deepest poverty (TANF)—Budget Amendment only -- 348 #6h -- Del. Scott Lingamfelter
8. TANF Ban Opt Out/Lifting the Life-Time Ban — HB 828 by Del. Luke Torian——Item 342 #2h(HWI #3 Laid on the table)
TANF Ban Opt Out/Lifting the Life-Time Ban -- HB 992 by Del. Lopez—Item 342 #4h--(Reported out of HWI #3 (5Y –0N) Unanimously)**
TANF Ban Opt Out/Lifting the Life-Time Ban - Sen. Favola SB 635- (Defeated on a tie vote (7Y–7N) in Rehab & Soc. Servs. Committee)
9. Count Remedial Ed Toward Welfare Work Requirement—Del. Lopez – HB 991- (Supported Unanimously in HWI #3)**
10. Reform Locality Groupings for TANF Programs – Den. Bill Stanley –Item 342 #2s
11. Support Foster Futures - SB 436 - Sen. Favola-**(Passed Rehab & Soc. Servs. Committee UNANIMOUSLY; Now referred to Sen. Finance)**
Provide Assistance to Foster Care Youth to Attend College - Sen. Favola Item 342 #2s-
TANF Workforce Training in Community Colleges - Sen. Favola Item 342 #6s
Community College Great Expectation –Sen Favola Item 342 #7s
12. Minimum Wage –SB 668 –Sen. Favola – (defeated) Passed by Indefinitely (PBI) - 21Y-3N in Commerce and Labor Committee
13. Tell your Delegate to oppose a return to the electric chair! The Courts of Justice Committee in the House of Delegates passed HB 815 by Del. Jackson Miller on vote of 11 to 6. This legislation now goes to the House floor for debate and a final vote.
14. Two House of Delegates bills were introduced to expand coverage. Del. Kenneth Plum, VA36, introduced a bill to expand Medicaid: HB797, which was tabled. Del. J. Randall Minchew, VA10, submitted a bill that would create a Virginia Health Care Access Fund, but would not expand Medicaid: HB1204, which waspulled by Del Minchew prior to introduction
March 15th 2016 marks the conclusion of the 2016 General Assembly Session -- SALT highlights.
SALT General Assembly Outcomes:
- SALT Victory! Increases TANF benefits by 2.5% passed. The very First TANF increase since 2000 –it took 15 years! The prior increase was in 1985---it took 15 years too!
- Provides a $100 per student back to-school benefit by Sen. Colgan and Del. Lingamfelter defeated.
- Ends lifetime ban on TANF recipiency for people with drug related felonies. Passed by the Senate and then defeated by a most unusual vote to reconsider by Senate.
- SALT Victory! BILL DEFEATED! SALT worked in coalition with VADP and VCC. House rejected bill to keep execution drugs secret! The House of Delegates voted 56-42 to defeat a measure that would have shrouded Virginia's lethal injection process in secrecy.
Medicaid Expansion Legislation
The 2015 General Assembly session may be over, but one big problem remains: lawmakers still refuse to close the health care coverage gap. A favorite smokescreen is the claim that Medicaid needs to be reformed before it can be expanded. However, this claim neglects the fact that recent Medicaid reforms are not only in place in Virginia, but are exceeding expectations. --The Commonwealth Institute
The Virginia Senate Finance Committee and House of Delegates Appropriations Committee chose to exclude Medicaid expansion from the budget and instead, they want to increase state General Fund dollars to free clinics and community health centers. However, we believe Medicaid expansion would enhance the entire health care delivery system in Virginia and is a better solution.
Virginians are already paying for Medicaid expansion through our federal tax dollars. Since our state lawmakers have refused to expand Medicaid, we are losing that money. We are disappointed that our lawmakers are ignoring the basic needs of 400,000 people, most of whom are employed taxpayers in the Commonwealth.
Keep advocating for a real solution for those 400,000 Virginians because the people of the Commonwealth deserve better.
Breaking News! VIRGINIA GOVERNOR McAuliffe BANS THE BOX WITH EXECUTIVE ORDER
Governor McAuliffe signed Executive Order 41, which reforms state hiring practices by removing questions regarding criminal history from employment applications. The Order makes clear that criminal history shall not be a determining factor in employment decisions, unless an individual’s criminal history bears specific relation to the job for which they are being considered. “In a new Virginia economy, people who make mistakes and pay the price should be welcomed back into society and given the opportunity to succeed,” Governor McAuliffe said about the Order.
As you know, “Ban the Box” legislation was a top SALT priority during the 2015 General Assembly session. SALT & VA-CURE partner made a compelling case for “Ban the Box”: "Formerly incarcerated individuals shouldn’t face a life sentence of no job prospects and no opportunities to better themselves just because they have served time in prison. These new (“Ban the Box”) laws will help them get back on their feet, contribute to their communities and keep one offense from becoming a life-long barrier.”
Visit the SALT website at http://www.S-A-L-T.org