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News from Washington

 

 

September 20, 2017

Updates from Safe States

Advocacy makes a difference!

In less than a year, the injury and violence prevention community successfully fought back against President Trump’s fiscal year (FY) 2018 budget request to Congress. The proposed budget contained several funding cuts to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Injury Center including the outright elimination of funding for the Injury Control Research Centers (ICRC’s) and older adult falls programs. Safe States called on its members to educate policymakers about the value and impact injury and violence prevention programs have on communities across the country and you responded.

Thanks to your engagement in Safe States' advocacy efforts, the House and Senate Appropriations Committees each approved their respective FY 2018 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations bill, which largely restore all Injury Center programs to their original FY 2017 funding levels! No cuts to the Core VIPP (Violence and Injury Prevention Program), no elimination of the ICRCs or the older adult falls prevention program. Why?  Because Safe States members responded to the call to educate policymakers and as a result, more policymakers understand the value of injury and violence prevention programs than ever before.

Since Congress just passed a continuing resolution (CR) to allow government agencies to continue operating at their current funding levels through Dec. 8th, additional action will be needed before finalizing CDC’s FY 2018 budget. However, as both the House and Senate have passed bills that essentially protect Injury Center programs from any funding cuts, the outcome will surely signal success for a small yet mighty community that historically has been one of the first to absorb cuts when reductions are made. This is a far cry from how we felt when President Trump first revealed his budget request this past April. But the past few months have shown that your voice matters and your voice can have an impact!

While it’s important to celebrate this success, it’s important to note that early signals point to another challenging environment in FY 2019. So, let’s continue our work in support of injury and violence prevention programs and please recruit your colleagues to advocate with you as we aim to establish a formidable voice of the injury and violence prevention community.

 


August 15, 2017

Update from Safe States

 

Safe States, in conjunction with the Injury and Violence Prevention Network, continues to work diligently to protect CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) funding from efforts to reduce federal spending as proposed in President Trump’s fiscal year (FY) 2018 budget request to Congress.

Collectively, over the last several months we have:

  • Organized a successful Hill day,

  • Sent letters in support of NCIPC to Congress including submission of official testimony to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees,

  • Met with select Appropriation Committee staff members,

  • Spearheaded a House and Senate “Dear Colleague” letter, and

  • Organized an all-member webinar to encourage Safe States members to engage in the legislative process.

While this may appear to be a comprehensive approach to promoting Safe States’ policy agenda, we still need your support. Our collective efforts are far more meaningful and impactful when constituents tell their elected officials that injury and violence prevention programs are in dire need of their active support.

There is still time to meet with and educate your members of Congress about the work you do and the impact it has in your community during the August recess. As a constituent, your voice carries far greater weight than that of Safe States. There is no better time to contact your members of Congress requesting a meeting to discuss the importance of continued support for injury and violence prevention programs.

What is the price of not taking action? Just look at President Trump’s budget request, which proposed to reduce funding for elderly falls and the Core State Violence Prevention Program (Core SVIPP), while eliminating the nation’s Injury Control Research Centers (ICRCs). Lawmakers must hear from their constituents that these proposed cuts will have real and negative impacts on those whom they represent. If lawmakers don’t receive that message, they will have little reason to support NCIPC programs when the time comes to vote on CDC’s FY 2018 budget.

When members of Congress return to Capitol Hill next month, they will be faced with several deadlines requiring legislative action, including the FY 2018 appropriations process ahead of the October 1 new fiscal year. With little movement on the FY 2018 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations bill, which provides funding to the CDC, now is a prime time to ask your elected officials to provide support to programs administered by the NCIPC!

Safe States is here to make this process as seamless and easy as possible. If you would like assistance in scheduling meetings with your elected officials, please contact Paul Bonta at Paul.Bonta@safestates.org today!


July 19, 2017

Update from Safe States

 

August Recess - Opportunities for Members

 

 

As efforts to advance an Obamacare replacement bill in the Senate falter, Congress is working to jumpstart the long-stalled fiscal year (FY) 2018 appropriations process. This will require passage of 12 separate appropriation measures needed to fund government agencies starting on Oct. 1, 2017. However, prospects for passage of all 12 appropriation measures prior to the start of the new fiscal year also appear quite dim. To date, only three appropriation bills have been approved by the House Appropriations Committee and no bills have received committee consideration in the Senate. As a result, a continuing resolution (CR) will be needed to allow government agencies to continue operating at current levels come October.

Part of the lag in the process is due to delays by appropriators in releasing the funding allocations for each of the 12 bills, which were just released in early July. As expected, Congress has opted to increase overall defense spending largely at the expense of domestic spending.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is funded through the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations bill. This cut in domestic spending means that appropriators will have to cut roughly 2 percent, or $3 billion, from the bill compared to last year’s funding level. Unfortunately, such a cut will surely impact funding levels for agencies under the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), such as CDC and others.

Already, FY 2018 Injury Center funding cuts have been under consideration as the President’s budget request to Congress proposed to eliminate the Injury Control Research Centers (ICRCs), while decreasing funds for elderly falls prevention, Core State Violence and Injury Prevention Program (Core VIPP), and opioid abuse prevention.

All that said, the delayed appropriations timeline presents a unique opportunity for Safe States and our members. August congressional recess provides an opportunity to push back and communicate with your elected officials on the impact reduced funding would have on injury and violence prevention programs in your community. Every August, members of Congress take time off to travel home and meet with their constituents to learn more about what’s on their minds. This is a great opportunity for individuals across the country to meet with their representatives while they’re back home to champion the issues and causes they care about.

This August, it’s critically important that you meet with your members of Congress to voice your concerns regarding cuts to federal violence and injury prevention programs. To help guide you in requesting a meeting, Safe States has scheduled an all-member webinar on July 20th at 3:00pm EDT. This webinar is intended to make this process as easy as possible. We hope you will join us. If you have any immediate questions, please do not hesitate to contact our Director of Government Relations, Paul Bonta at Paul.bonta@safestates.org.

 

 


June 16, 2017

Update from Safe States

 

If ever there was a time - this is it!

 

President Trump delivered his Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 budget proposal to Congress last month with significant spending reductions for a large swath of domestic programs, including a 20 percent funding reduction to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) budget. Thankfully, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have already decried the President’s budget request as a non-starter; however, the spending cuts included in the proposed budget may well present a blueprint for future efforts to reduce federal spending.

The spending reductions proposed for programs administered by the CDC’s Injury Center including elderly falls, the Core State Violence Prevention Program (Core SVIPP), and elimination of the Injury Control Research Centers (ICRCs) were not proposed because these programs are ineffective, rather they signal the new Administration’s lack of understanding regarding these programs and the impact they have on communities across the country.

As such, this represents an opportunity to educate policymakers about the inherent value these programs provide to communities in need. Policymakers who have newly arrived in Washington, DC have minimal experience in government and virtually no experience in public health approaches to injury and violence prevention. The good news? You, Safe States members, are best positioned to educate these new policymakers to help shape their understanding of how these programs work and the impact they have on individuals, families, and communities.

While engaging in such educational efforts does not require any special skill-set or training, it does require a bit of time and significant persistence. Safe States has been working to expand the cadre of its members that directly engage in policy education efforts and the President’s recent budget proposal is a clear sign that we must pursue a concerted effort to assure policymakers understand how investments in injury and violence prevention help protect our nation’s health.

Safe States will soon release guidance to support your engagement in educational efforts - particularly during the August recess while policymakers are back home meeting with their constituents. We will also begin recruiting for a first-ever class of Policy Fellows, with applications opening later this month. Yet, we are eager to support our members who want to engage in the process today and stand ready to provide direct assistance to you in your efforts.  For more information and assistance on how to engage please view the Safe States policy website or contact Safe States Director of Government Affairs, Paul Bonta at paul.bonta@safestates.org.  Don’t wait, the time to engage is now!


May 12, 2017

Update from Safe States

 

There’s bad news and good news coming from Washington.

First the good news: the President recently signed the FY 2017 Omnibus Appropriations bill, which will fund government agencies for the remaining six months of the current Fiscal Year and provides an extra $50 million for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Injury Center to expand efforts to address the continued opioid epidemic. 

Now the bad news: the House mustered the votes necessary to pass the American Health Care Act (AHCA) that will repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and this vote includes a repeal of the Prevention and Public Health Fund (the Prevention Fund). 

So, while the Injury Center’s budget will experience continued growth in FY 2017 thanks in large part to the advocacy efforts led by Safe States and other partner organizations, CDC’s budget outlook is fraught with challenges should the Senate advance their own bill that replaces and repeals the old ACA bill and eliminates the Prevention Fund. Why the challenge?  The Prevention Fund provides roughly $1 billion, or 12% of CDC’s overall budget, to support a wide array of programs including the Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant and childhood lead poisoning prevention. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to imagine a scenario where CDC’s budget drops by 12% without some cuts sustained by the Injury Center.

To complicate things further, reports coming from the White House indicate that they are putting the final touches on a FY 2018 budget request that will seek massive funding reductions for a host of federal agencies including the CDC. While several congressional leaders have stated that such a budget request would be dead on arrival, it signals strong interest among White House officials to significantly reduce the size and scope of long-standing federal programs.

To prepare for such a gloomy outlook, Safe States has been working collaboratively with its members, the Injury and Violence Prevention Network, and other national partner organizations to promote the needs of the injury and violence prevention community. Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI) and Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) agreed to circulate “Dear Colleague” letters within their respective chambers urging that appropriators not reduce the Injury Centers budget in FY 2018. Additionally, Safe States organized a highly successful Hill day to allow state-based advocates to travel to Washington to educate members of their congressional delegations on the impact injury and violence prevention programs have on the communities they represent.

The best way to combat against any effort to reverse the gains we’ve achieved for the Injury Center these past few years is to repeatedly educate lawmakers about the importance of injury and violence prevention! You are best positioned to relay stories to lawmakers that showcase the impact injury and violence prevention programs have had on those in your community. If you have already supported our advocacy activities, thank you and please continue to engage! If you have not yet participated in these efforts, please join your colleagues and engage in the process! This is a time where we need all hands-on deck - the risks are too great to sit back and not partake in the effort.

If you have questions or need assistance in your outreach efforts, please contact Paul.Bonta@safestates.org.


April 17, 2017

Update from Safe States

 

Keep it up! Thank you to all members for taking action and responding to Safe States’ calls to contact your congressional members urging them to sign the Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI) “Dear Colleague” letters to protect the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Injury Center from any cuts in the FY 2018 budget. While the Rep. Moore letter has officially closed, there is still time to build support for Sen. Schatz’s letter currently circulating in the Senate.

These letters are critically important and provide you the unique opportunity to not only exercise your voice in the legislative process, but perhaps more importantly, work to protect the Injury Center from efforts to slash federal spending across government agencies. With the dubious distinction of being one of the smallest centers at CDC, any cut to the Injury Center’s budget would have devastating consequences for injury and violence prevention programs that benefit from Injury Center support.

While Safe States is actively engaged in the legislative process, we need your help in strengthening our collective voice to ensure continued support for injury and violence prevention programs. The best way to do that is to contact your Senators TODAY to urge them to sign Sen. Schatz’s “Dear Colleague” letter in support of the CDC’s Injury Center. If you have already contacted your Senator’s office, please follow up and ask if your Senator has decided to sign the letter.

Safe States has a webpage to make this as easy for you as possible and our Director of Government Relations, Paul Bonta, is available to walk you through the process and provide staff contact information for your Senators’ office.  Please contact him at Paul.Bonta@safestates.org for assistance.

Now is the time to act in support of the CDC Injury Center!  The deadline to sign Sen. Schatz’s “Dear Colleague” letter is April 25.

 


March 14, 2017

Update from Safe States

 

In preparation for the start of the appropriations process in Congress, Safe States spent much of January and February working with our champions in Congress, Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI) in the House and Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) in the Senate, urging that they lend their support to the injury and violence prevention community by helping us protect the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Injury Prevention and Control’s (NCIPC) Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 budget.  With repeal of the Prevention and Public Health Fund underway coupled with renewed focus on reduced federal spending, concerns abound regarding potential cuts to the CDC’s budget and the deleterious impact such cuts would have on the smaller centers at CDC such as NCIPC.

The good news?  Sen. Schatz and Rep. Moore have agreed to circulate a “Dear Colleague” in their respective chambers asking that their colleagues join them in urging appropriators to hold the NCIPC’s budget harmless in any effort to reduce federal spending in FY 2018!

 

These “Dear Colleague” letters circulating in the House and Senate provide members of Congress the opportunity to signal their support for injury and violence prevention programs by signing on as cosigners of the letter.  The more signers each letter receives, the more likely it will be that appropriators will head the requests communicated through these letters.

 

Yet, despite this good news, the only way this effort proves successful is if you as a voter and constituent reach out to members of your congressional delegation to urge that they sign the Rep. Moore and Sen. Schatz “Dear Colleague” letters.

 

What to do:

  1. Email your Representative and Senators’ offices to ask that they sign the Rep. Moore (Representatives only) or Sen. Schatz (Senators only) “Dear Colleague” letter aimed at protecting the CDC’s injury center funding from any cuts in the FY 2018 budget. If you need help locating the appropriate email address please contact Paul Bonta at Paul.Bonta@safestates.org for assistance.
  2. Be persistent.  If you have not received a response after 2 or 3 days, follow up on your original email and restate your request.  As a voter, you deserve to know where your members of Congress stand on funding for the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.
  3. Once you receive a response, let Paul Bonta know at Paul.Bonta@safestates.org as he can follow up with Rep. Moore’s/Sen. Schatz’s office to ensure your Representative and/or Senators are on the letter.
  4. Pass this along to your professional colleagues and partners, friends and family!

Sample email for Safe States members:

 

I am contacting you today as a constituent from (city, state) to ask that you sign the Rep. Gwen Moore/Sen. Brian Schatz “Dear Colleague” letter urging level-funding for the CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control in the FY 2018 budget.

 

Include a brief example or story about a program that benefits from NCIPC funding. Such as:

Funding from the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control is important to our community because it allows UW Health, in Madison, WI, to screen all adults over age 65 years for their fall risk annually. To assure efficient and accurate screening, UW Health has adopted the CDC’s STEADI tools and embedded them into their Electronic Health Record. Older Adults who are identified at risk for a fall are referred to programs, such as Stepping On, within the health system and located within our community. While UW Health offers Stepping On in their facilities, they may also refer patients to partners such as the Fitchburg Senior Center, Mt. Zion Baptist Church or even another health system like St. Mary’s; whatever is most convenient for the patient. A community collaborative called the Fall Prevention Task Force from Safe Communities of Madison/Dane County coordinates the implementation of several CDC recommended fall prevention programs so UW Health, and any organization serving older adults, has the ability to better serve their community.  This program is providing an essential benefit to members of our community and ultimately works to keep them out of the hospital.  If Congress cuts the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control’s funding, this is the type of program that would be put at risk.

 

We only have until the end of March to secure signatures on these letters so please act today and follow up until you receive a response!  And please let Paul Bonta (Paul.Bonta@safestates.org) know if your elected official has agreed to sign on!

 

 


February 14, 2017

 

Update from Safe States

 

What we know: Following the outcome of the elections, voters are now more engaged in the policy making process than ever before.

What we don’t know: How will a new president with no experience in government choose to influence the future direction of policy?

So, what does this mean? Voters who are engaged in the policy making process are participating in our democracy and exercising their voice in an effort to help shape specific policy proposals. Voters who are not engaged in the policy making process are surrendering their voice to others and standing on the sidelines as their friends, neighbors, and colleagues take advantage of the opportunities that can only be found in a democratic process.   

What types of opportunities exist? With President Trump’s cabinet secretary confirmation process in full swing following the recent confirmation of Rep. Tom Price as the next Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HSS), congressional action will soon pivot to finalizing the FY 2017 budget, crafting an Affordable Care Act (ACA) replacement plan, and beginning the FY 2018 appropriations process. While all three represent significant policy actions, they also represent opportunities to advance injury and prevention policies of interest to our community.

The largest question mark surrounds how policymakers on Capitol Hill will design an ACA replacement plan. Yet what we do know is that the ACA replacement plan will likely provide a “2fer” for injury and prevention advocates! How? Early reports indicate that any plan Republicans develop will return power to the states. Rather than develop prescriptive policy, Republicans in Congress may find it more expedient to provide broad policy direction and leave the details up to the individual states. So that provides you the opportunity to work to influence policy at the federal level, followed by influencing what states do once Congress approves a replacement plan.

Opportunities to engage at the federal level have already materialized. Safe States recently issued a legislative alert calling on you and your colleagues to contact your congressional members to urge that they delay any effort to rescind the Prevention and Public Health Fund until stable funding sources can be identified to maintain support for federal programs that have benefitted from the Fund.   Policymakers are currently considering how best to address the future of the Prevention and Public Health Fund so the time to act is now! Feel free to contact Paul.Bonta@safestates.org for more information.

Additionally, funding for injury and violence prevention programs will certainly be addressed as part of the annual appropriations process. Safe States will continue to monitor these developments and will notify you when there are actions you can take for your voice to have the greatest impact.

By engaging in Safe State’s advocacy efforts, you can join your friends, neighbors and colleagues in the democratic process and help shape the future of health policy!

 


January 17, 2017

 

Update from Safe States

 

With congressional leaders forging ahead with plans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (AKA Obamacare), Safe States is finalizing its government affairs strategy aimed at informing the development of an ambitious replacement plan that is sure to impact the continued integration of public health and health care delivery. Such integration has placed a sharp focus on the role injury and violence prevention programs play in improving the health status of communities across the country. As a result, efforts to address issues such as prescription drug overdose are more effective when a true partnership exists between public health officials and our colleagues in medicine. Each has unique and important role to play.

On the eve of President-Elect Trump’s inauguration, Safe States is focusing its policy and advocacy activities on ensuring that our future health system recognizes the role public health plays in improving health. Specifically, our work must communicate the inherent value of injury and violence prevention programs and call for an environment where such programs can truly flourish. As you already know, this is not an easy task. Early signs point to an uphill climb in our efforts to bolster support for injury and violence prevention programs.

But if we work together to educate policymakers about how injury and violence prevention programs contribute to improved health status and help our elected officials understand the need to address the leading cause of death for Americans ages 1 to 44, we will, at minimum, inject a needed voice into the Obamacare replacement debate.

What’s unique about our voice?  It knows no political boundaries.  Injury and violence prevention policy is bipartisan. The only thing our voice needs is you. In fact, without you our voice becomes a whisper.  We become a passionate group of stakeholders listening to the voice of others.

To combat this, Safe States has created two prime opportunities for you to contribute and engage in our policy and advocacy activities. As previously communicated, we are collecting stories that illustrate the impact injury and violence prevention programs have on members of your community. We need more stories! Secondly, we are organizing a Hill day on March 14 to bring Safe States members to Washington, DC to meet with members of their congressional delegation to educate them about the needs of the injury and violence prevention community. 

Safe States is allocating the required resources to these events to help us maximize our success. However, we are counting on your direct engagement to ensure our success reaches well beyond the halls of Congress and is felt by you, your colleagues and partner organizations back home. 

Please take a few minutes to submit a few paragraphs noting the impact an injury and/or violence prevention program has had on a member or group of members in your community to Paul.Bonta@Safestates.org and consider joining your colleagues in Washington, DC on March 14 to exercise your voice in support of injury and violence prevention policy. Your voice is critically important.


December 12, 2016

 

Update from Safe States

 

While President-elect Donald Trump prepares to take over the reins of government next January, Safe States is aggressively working to position itself as the “go to” voice for injury and violence prevention policy in the next administration. While we all have a lot more questions than answers regarding Trump’s vision for the role public health will play in a new health care environment; we recognize there is a unique opportunity to help shape a policy that today is akin to a blank sheet of paper.

However, to be successful, we need your direct engagement and assistance. When faced with policymakers who have little understanding of the value of injury and violence prevention programs, there exist a primary need to communicate the impact injury and violence prevention programs have on individuals and communities across the country. The goal is to personalize injury and violence prevention programs so policymakers can quickly grasp how these programs impact the lives of those whom they represent.

You are the best positioned to help Safe States build this narrative and develop key messages that communicate the needs of the injury and violence prevention community. We ask that you partner with us on this effort by submitting a few paragraphs about the impact an injury or violence prevention program has had on a member or group of members in your community. The type of information that would be most helpful is a story that highlights how someone has benefited from a program you work on or have been associated with. A story can be told without providing any identifiable information, yet highlights the positive impact of effective injury or violence prevention programs in your community.

Another way to participate in this effort is to share with us examples of successful public and private partnerships that have strengthened the work that you do and enhanced the value of injury and violence prevention programs. With Republicans in control of the White House and Congress, stories that showcase cooperation between the public and private sectors are paramount in helping Safe States position itself as the “go to” voice for injury and violence prevention policy.

Please take some time to share your stories with Safe States by drafting and sending a few paragraphs to Paul.Bonta@Safestates.org by Dec. 23rd. If you any questions or would like to discuss your story before sending, please contact Mr. Bonta and he would be happy to work with you.

 


November 16, 2016

 

Update from Safe States

 

With a new President moving into the White House next year, Safe States has dedicated significant time and energy over the past few months towards developing a transition document intended to secure early and strong support from our next President for federal injury and violence prevention programs. The transition document, “IVPN’s Call to Action for the Trump Administration” was drafted in collaboration with members of the Injury and Violence Prevention Network (IVPN), which is a group of national organizations led by Safe States that work to advance injury and violence prevention policies at the national level.

To maximize the effectiveness of “IVPN’s Call to Action for the Trump Administration,” Safe States is presenting the document to the leadership of Donald Trump's transition team, and senior officials at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The document signals actions that can be taken by a new administration interested in advancing injury and violence prevention policy; yet, may not be familiar with the various injury and violence prevention programs that exist at the federal level. Specifically, the document provides funding recommendations and background information on a wide range of issues within the injury and violence prevention arena.

Furthermore, Safe States is working to broaden dissemination of the transition document through various channels including its website, social media, and vast IVPN network. To help expand the document’s reach, we invite you to share the transition document with your partner organizations and other stakeholders. Not only does the document pave the way for President-elect Trump to take concrete action in support of injury and violence prevention policy, it is also a tool that can be utilized to increase awareness of federal injury and violence prevention programs broadly.

Please contact Paul Bonta, Director of Government Affairs, with any questions or requests for assistance.


October 18, 2016

 

Update from Safe States

 

With the presidential campaigns entering their final stretch in the run up to the Nov. 8th elections, media outlets have devoted precious little time to other important news that impacts the future of injury and violence prevention efforts. However, Safe Sates has been working to keep its finger on the pulse of injury and violence prevention activities and is happy to share some of the latest happenings that may not have made it to your inbox.

One of the most important discussions is taking place right now as Republican leaders in Congress work to solidify their plans for how best to finish the 2017 appropriations process during the lame-duck session of Congress. Both the House and Senate will return to Capitol Hill the week after the elections in an effort to reach agreement on a massive spending package that will avert a government shutdown and fund government agencies through Fiscal Year 2017. With continued focus on the need to address sports concussions and traumatic brain injuries, and prescription drug overdose, including dissemination of the recently approved Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines on use of prescription pain medications, the dynamics of those negotiations will likely impact FY 2017 funding levels for these and other injury and violence prevention activities. Safe States will continue to monitor these negotiations and keep members apprised of important developments, including potential opportunities to engage in the process at the grassroots level.

Other important developments include:

  • A new CDC study, “The Economic Burden of Prescription Opioid Overdose, Abuse and Dependence in the United States, 2013” that notes prescription opioid abuse, dependence, and overdose cost the U.S. $78.5 billion in 2013.

  • A National Institutes of Health (NIH)-convened panel developed a 10-year road map for advancing research to prevent youth suicide. The panel’s recommendations address three critical issues: improving data systems, enhancing data collection and analysis methods, and strengthening the research and practice community.

  • An article in JAMA called for a change in the language of addiction to avoid stigmatizing those who suffer from substance use disorders (SUDs). “Patients may be referred to as ‘junkies,’ ‘crackheads,’ or other pejorative terms that describe them solely through the lens of their addiction or their implied personal failings…language related to SUDs does influence perceptions and judgments, even among health care professionals with substantial experience and expertise,” wrote the authors.

Safe States will continue to monitor and relay important policy developments to you. We are crafting a wide-ranging transition document to highlight the need for federal investments in specific injury and violence prevention programs that impact the communities you serve. Please be on the lookout for the document in the weeks ahead as we encourage you to share our priorities for the next administration with your partners and relevant stakeholders.

 

Please contact Paul Bonta, Director of Government Affairs, with any questions or requests for assistance.

 


September 14, 2016

 

Update from Safe States

 

Just as Congress was returning to Capitol Hill after a prolonged summer recess, members of the Safe States Executive Committee were in Washington, DC meeting with members of their congressional delegation to shine a spotlight on the needs of the injury and violence prevention community. The meetings served as an opportunity to increase the visibility of the Safe States brand in Congress, while maintaining the drumbeat on the need to advance federal injury and violence prevention programs.

 

Although the summer recess just ended, several members of Congress are already eager to get off the Hill and back out on the campaign trail in advance of the impending November elections.  The one barrier to their quick exit from Congress is passage of a continuing resolution (CR), which will be necessary to keep government agencies operating past the end of the current fiscal year on September 30th. Tied to the CR negotiation is funding to combat the Zika virus that continues to expand its reach across the country.

 

With conservative Republicans pushing for a long-term CR that would avoid a lame-duck session of Congress following the elections (a session that meets after the successor is elected but before the successor’s term begins), as well as a fully-funded Zika package, Congress faces a challenging environment in identifying a compromise that will receive support from a majority of either caucus.  However, history has proven that deadlines in Congress is the one binding factor that has routinely led to legislative action, and this year will be no different.

 

Early reports indicate that Senate leaders are preparing a short-term CR through early December that includes funding for Zika. They hope to pass this CR with a quick turnaround – within the next few days – after which many delegates will leave town until after the elections.  Such a move would put House Speaker Paul Ryan in the difficult position of having to bring the Senate-passed bill up for consideration in his chamber or bring the Senate back after it adjourns to prevent a government shutdown. Either scenario is fraught with considerable challenges, yet will be aided by the Sept. 30th deadline, which if nothing else, will propel action.

 

Should Congress move forward with plans to enact a short-term CR, Safe States will be back on the Hill following the elections in an effort to influence the appropriations end-game.  We will keep you apprised of any developments that may impact funding for injury and violence prevention programs and may be calling on you to contact members of your congressional delegation to ensure federal injury and violence prevention programs are front-and-center and end-of-year funding decisions materialize.  Please be on the lookout of further updates!

 

Please contact Paul Bonta, Director of Government Affairs, with any questions or requests for assistance.

 

 

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