IN THIS EDITION
The Economic Stimulus Package
APA engaged on multiple fronts during consideration of H.R. 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, with PI-GRO taking a lead role on outreach to key congressional leaders and members of the conference committee.
During consideration of the economic stimulus package, PI-GRO strongly advocated on behalf of longstanding priorities related to psychology and special populations, including:
Prevention and Wellness: PI-GRO collaborated with coalition partners to save language related to prevention and wellness. At final passage, the bill contained $1 billion for prevention and wellness to support evidence-based clinical and community-based prevention and wellness strategies, including $300 million for immunizations, $650 million for community prevention programs, and $50 million for reducing health care associated infections. In addition, $500 million was added for bolstering the health and public health workforce, which is intended to save or create 20,000 public health jobs, including helping to restore some of the 11,000 public health workers that have already loss their jobs.
Children, Youth, and Families: In coalition with several organizations, PI-GRO successfully advocated for $2 billion in new funding for the Child Care and Development Block Grant and $2.1 billion in new funding for Head Start in the economic stimulus bill. In addition, several other provisions in the package will serve the interests low-income children and families, including a provision that allows families to begin qualifying for the Child Tax Credit with every dollar earned over $3,000.
Additional highlights from the stimulus package related to APA’s Public Interest Government Relations Office’s priorities include:
Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA): $13 billion for Education for the Disadvantaged to carry out Title I of ESEA, with $3 billion targeted to school improvement;
Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP): $87 billion for FMAP in order to increase the federal share of Medicaid expenditures to help states avoid cutting eligibility and services for beneficiaries;
Foster Care: Inclusion of a temporary increase of an estimated $1 billion for foster care payments to States, including an increase of 6.2 percent for the Medicaid matching rate to extend to children in foster care;
Homelessness Prevention Fund: $1.5 billion to provide assistance to families who may become homeless due to the economic crisis;
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA): $12.2 billion for special education, including $11.3 billion specifically designated for programs for school- and preschool-age children with disabilities. Formula grants under IDEA Part C to help States serve children with disabilities and special needs age two and younger receives $500 million in the stimulus bill. The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) requires States to refer to Part C-funded early intervention services all children under age 3 involved in a substantiated case of abuse or neglect;
Indian Health Service: $85 million designated for Heath Information Technology infrastructure development and deployment; $415 million for Indian Health Facilities, including specific amounts for maintenance and improvement, sanitation facilities construction, health care facilities construction, and equipment;
National School Lunch Program: $100 million for equipment grants;
Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women Infants and Children (WIC): $500 million for WIC, including $400 million for reserve funds to cover increased participation or increased food costs;
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) at $2.5 billion in the House bill and $3 billion in the Senate’s are set at $3 billion in the conferees’ report; and
Violence Against Women: $225 million, including $175 million for the Formula Assistance Program and $50 million for the transitional housing assistance grants.