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Dear NCCA Member,

This July, LobbyIt covered a House Appropriations hearing that passed the funding for the Child Care Development Block Grant Program (CCDBG).

Additionally, LobbyIt drafted and delivered formal letters to Senate members, requesting additional funding for the CCDBG program.

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As members in both chambers geared up for August recess, LobbyIt staff was busy laying the groundwork to keep the momentum moving upon members' return in September. During the later half of July, theHouse Appropriations Committee approved the FY 2018 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education Appropriations Bill. The bill the committee passed included a proposed $4 million increase for the CCDBG program, roughly $2.86 billion for FY 2018.

Armed with this welcomed news of a modest increase, LobbyIt then focused its attention onto the Senate. With the House's passage of an appropriations bill, the Senate will be, at the very least, expected to produce an appropriations bill as well. For the past few months, LobbyIt had been educating House members about the importance of the CCDBG program and why a funding increase was necessary for FY 2018. In particular, new mandates for funding set asides kick in this year, and facilities are already struggling to comply with existing financial mandates. With this in mind, LobbyIt worked with NCCA leadership to draft and deliver the first series of a letter campaign. While LobbyIt will continue engaging in face-to-face meeting with Senate staff, the first series of letters delivered to key Senators communicate not only the need for the Senate to produce an appropriations bill, but also to provide funding for the CCDBG program at higher levels that the House approved. While this may seem like a tall order, just earlier this year House staffers commented that it would be unlikely that the CCDBG program would see an increase at all. In the end, however, armed with persistence and facts, LobbyIt and child care advocates were successful in our call to increase funding for the CCDBG program.

While the first series of NCCA's letter campaign has already kicked off, moving forward, LobbyIt will collaborate with NCCA leadership to develop its next round of letters to key committees of jurisdiction, asking not only for increase in funding, but to proactively produce an appropriations bill through regular order.
Legislative/Regulatory Outlook and Activity
Sponsor:Green, A. (D-Texas)
A bill to amend the Fair Labor Standards Act to provide for the calculation of the minimum wage based on the Federal poverty threshold for a family of 4, as determined by the Bureau of the Census.

Sponsor:Green, G. (D-Texas)
A bill to direct the Secretary of Labor to revise regulations concerning the recording and reporting of occupational injuries and illnesses under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970.

Representative Steve King (R-IA) introduced this bill on January 23, 2017. On January 23, 2017, the bill was referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. RepresentativesAndy Harris (R-MD)andTrent Franks (R-AZ)are currently cosponsoring this bill.
This bill repeals the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 and limits the authority of the Department of Education (ED) such that ED is authorized only to award block grants to qualified states. The bill establishes an education voucher program, through which each state shall distribute block grant funds among local educational agencies (LEAs) based on the number of eligible children within each LEA's geographicalarea. From these amounts, each LEA shall: (1) distribute a portion of funds to parents who elect to enroll their child in a private school or to home-school their child, and (2) do so in a manner that ensures that such payments will be used for appropriate educational expenses. To be eligible to receive a block grant, a state must: (1) comply with education voucher program requirements, and (2) make it lawful for parents of an eligible child to elect to enroll their child in any public or private elementary or secondary school in the state or to home-school their child. The bill repeals a specified rule that established certain nutrition standards for the national school lunch and breakfast programs. (In general, the rule requires schools to increase the availability of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat or fat free milk in school meals; reduce the levels of sodium, saturated fat, andtrans fatin school meals; and meet children's nutritional needs within their caloric requirements.)

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