Issue: Labor HHS Education Appropriations
Some of the grant programs included in the Health and Human Services (HHS) appropriations can be used to support state courts efforts.
State courts advocate full funding for those programs that will assist in dealing with the effects of federal initiatives on state courts.
The appropriations bills for HHS include funding to for the child support enforcement program, child welfare services, and programs related to substance abuse and mental health services.
FY 2008 funding for the Labor-HHS-Education programs was included in the catch-all omnibus appropriations bill signed by the President on 12/26/07. Appropriations for most child and family services programs were pegged at the 2007 funding levels, but the across-the-board cut of 1.747% resulted in funding below FY 07 spending. For example, the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) programs were cut by a total of $1.746 million. Funds for the Promoting Safe and Stable Families (PSSF) program were cut by $25.789 million. With the mandatory funds held at $345 million, the cut to the PSSF discretionary funds left the FY08 total at $408.311 million compared with $434.1 million in FY07. The Basic CIP program is a $10 million dollar set aside within the PSSF mandatory funds. The Basic CIP program also receives 3.3% of any PSSF discretionary funds.
The Senate Appropriations Committee approved the Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations bill (S 3230) for fiscal year 2008 on 6/26/08 by a vote of 26-3. In general, funding levels remain at the FY 2007 level (S. Rpt. 110-410). It is unclear when and if S 3230 will be scheduled for Senate floor debate.On 6/19/08, the House Appropriations Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee approved its version of the FY 2008 by a voice vote. Like the Senate bill, funding levels remain generally at the FY 2007 level. The House Appropriations Committee began a mark-up of the Subcommittee’s recommendation on 7/26/08, but the mark-up was suspended after a partisan dispute related to when the Interior Appropriations bill would be scheduled for a vote. Angered by what he called a “political stunt”, House Appropriations Chairman David R. Obey (D-WI) halted the appropriations process for individual bills and moved to a continuing resolution (HR 2638). This continuing resolution expires on 3/6/09. The President signed HR 2638 on 9/30/08 making it Public Law 110-329.