CSG Regions

The U.S. Supreme Court on June 26 handed down decisions in two of the most talked about cases this year—whether California’s public referendum banning same-sex marriage would be allowed to stand and whether the U.S. Defense of Marriage Act, which bans federal benefits for same-sex couples, passes Constitutional muster.

Over the past week, three separate bills have been introduced in the House and Senate to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and replace some of the more infamous provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act, commonly called NCLB. While the three measures differ substantially in their vision for the role of the federal government in education policy, they all include proposals to substitute state flexibility in place of some of the more draconian elements of NCLB.

The Department of Health and Human Services on May 15 released a highly anticipated proposed rule for allocating cuts to hospitals that handle a disproportionate share of uninsured patients. The cuts were included in the Affordable Care Act—called the ACA—as a way to compensate for the cost of expanded coverage. While the big news was that the department chose not to penalize states that have opted out of expanding Medicaid programs, the scale and scope of the proposed cuts ultimately will weigh on policymakers in all 50 states for years to come.

The much-anticipated immigration reform bill has started to take shape in Washington, D.C., and states now have a better idea of what to expect.

A few weeks ago, Capitol Hill Ideas took a look at the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program, known as SCAAP, which is the primary way states are reimbursed for the cost of detaining criminal illegal immigrants. Funding for the program has been in flux for the past several years, and it now appears that immigration overhaul funds SCAAP through 2015.

Stateline Midwest ~ May 2013

Since its inception in 1965, Medicaid has been a critical part of our nation’s safety net. And as both enrollment and spending have been steadily increasing — and a new federal health law is poised to take full effect — the strength of that net is being tested.