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More Good News from the Legislature…

CAA is pleased to let you know that many of the bills we are supporting are advancing through the legislative process this week.

SB 1090, which provides a monthly $75 stipend to eligible grandparents and great-grandparents raising their grandchildren and have incomes below 200% of the federal poverty level and are not receiving foster care payments or TANF cash assistance, unanimously passed the House Committee on Reform and Human Services and is awaiting approval of the House Rules Committee.

HB 2074 unanimously passed the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services and was approved by Senate Rules. HB 2074 makes foster home license renewals every two years instead of every year, which will help foster parents and children while protecting children’s safety and streamlining administrative procedures. Having passed the full House with no votes in opposition, this legislation now awaits a full Senate vote.

HB 2144 gives DES rule-making authority, through the adoption of Administrative Rules, to change the length of time a person with a substantiated incident of abuse or neglect stays on the CPS central registry based on the incident reported and risk of future harm. HB 2144 also gives mandatory reporters of abuse the option of online reporting and would eliminate the need for follow-up written reports. As amended, it requires DES to create a plan for an alternative, community-based approach to low-risk reports of abuse and neglect rather than a full-blown investigation. CAA fully supports planning and funding this kind of approach to help strengthen families and reduce the need for foster care. Click here to see why prevention efforts can make a huge difference for families.

The bill passed the House with only one Representative voting against. HB 2144 unanimously passed the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services and was approved by Senate Rules. It now awaits a full vote in the Senate.

SB 1208 would waive tuition payments for former foster teens enrolled in community college or a state university (after available federal and state tuition assistance grants are applied). Youth who were in foster care at age 16 can qualify. SB 1208 passed the House Committee on Higher Education and Workforce Development on Wednesday and awaits approval by the Rules Committee before moving on to a vote by the full House. (It has already passed the Senate.)

SB 1375 would improve behavioral health services by requiring the Department of Economic Security, the Department of Health Services, and the AHCCCS to determine the most efficient way to provide medical, dental and behavioral health services for children in foster care, taking into consideration an integrated system of care. Having passed the Senate with no votes in opposition, SB 1375 unamiously passed the House Committee on Reform and Human Services today and awaits approval from the Rules Committee.

One Cloud on our Sunny Week…

CAA opposes HB 2147, which puts unnecessary burden people filing for unemployment insurance. Unemployment insurance benefits are reserved for workers who lose their jobs through no fault of their own. HB 2147 turns UI eligibility on its head by shifting the burden of proof to the workers by requiring them to produce documents proving their eligibility for unemployment. See the fact sheet for this bill here. This bill has passed the House it passed the Senate on Thursday, March 21st. It needs to be reconciled with the House of Representatives before going to the Governor for her signature.

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