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June 2000Vol. 1, No. 4Legislative Updates

Following are short summaries of current congressional bills of interest to professionals working in child abuse and neglect, child welfare, and adoption. To learn more about any of these bills, visit Thomas, a service of the Library of Congress, at

HHS Appropriations. H.R.4577; S.2553. FY 2001 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education appropriations bill. These bills allocate funds for these agencies for fiscal year 2001. Among the HHS services funded through these bills are protection and treatment programs for abused and neglected children, child welfare services, child abuse prevention programs, abandoned infants assistance, programs that support implementation of the Adoption and Safe Families Act, and community-based resource centers.

Status: H.R.4577 was taken up by the full House on 6/8/00. The Senate Appropriations Committee passed S.2553 on 5/12/00. Action by the full Senate is expected this month.

Social Services Block Grants. S. 2585, H.R.4481. These bills seek to restore proposed cuts made to Social Services Block Grants by the Senate Appropriations Committee. Among other things, States use SSBG funds for child welfare services including child protective services, foster care, and adoption services. States also use these funds for child care and services to at-risk youths.

Status, Both bills were introduced 5/17/00 and referred to committee.

Substance Abuse and Child Welfare. S.2435. This bill, the Child Protection/Alcohol and Drug (AOD) Partnership Act of 2000 would promote and support collaboration between public child welfare systems and alcohol and drug abuse prevention and treatment systems.

Status: Referred to the Senate Committee on Finance, 4/13/00

Violence Against Women. H.R.1248; S.51. The Violence Against Women Act of 1999 would reauthorize programs enacted under the Violence Against Women Act of 1994. is bill would reauthorize the 1994 Violence Against Women Act for 5 years. The Act would reauthorize funding for such programs as shelters for battered women, a National Domestic Violence Hotline, training for judges and court personnel, and prevention initiatives. The bill also would reauthorize funding for certain child abuse-related programs, including Court Appointed Special Advocates and child abuse training for judicial personnel and practitioners.

Status: H.R.1248 was marked up by the House Subcommittee on Crime, 5/11/00. S.51 was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee 1/19/99. Work on a compromise Senate bill also has been taking place.

Hispanic Health Issues. H.Con.Res.325. This concurrent resolution expresses the sense of Congress regarding the need to more appropriately address the health and well being of Hispanic adolescent girls and endorsing the findings and recommendations of the National Coalition of Hispanic Health and Human Services Organizations (COSSMHO) now known as The National Alliance for Hispanic Health.

Status: Referred to House Commerce Committee, 5/15/00

Volunteer Screening. H.R.4244, National Child Protection Volunteer Screening Assistance Act of 2000, would establish a national center on volunteer screening to reduce sexual and other abuse of children.

Status: Referred to the House Judiciary Committee/Subcommittee, 4/11/00; referred to the House Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Youth, and Families, 5/23/00