Congress passed the final legislation for the 117th Congress right before Christmas and as part of large Omnibus Appropriations bill. The bill funds our government through Fiscal Year 2023, which ends September 2023 and also includes additional legislation.
Futures Without Violence spent the last several months pushing hard for our priorities – evidence driven strategies proven to prevent violence, and important measures to help people heal from trauma – and advocating for their inclusion in the final bill.
There are several key programs that received an increased in funding that we are excited about, but several disappointments as well. Read the summary below for a full breakdown of what was included in the bill.
Congress passed the final legislation for the 117th Congress right before Christmas and as part of large Omnibus Appropriations bill. The bill funds our government through Fiscal Year 2023, which ends September 2023, and also includes additional legislation. The appropriations part of the bill included $772.5 billion for non-defense discretionary programs and $858 billion for defense funding.
FUTURES, and the gender-based violence community as a whole, were able to secure several legislative wins and key funding increases, including:
- FVPSA – The Family Violence Prevention Services Act (FVPSA) received $240 million, which is a $40M increase. Within that increase are set asides for new programs including up to $7.5M for a culturally specific program, $2M for a Native Hawaii Resource Center, and $5M for sexual assault technical assistance. The National Domestic Violence Hotline also received a $5 million increase, bringing them up to $20.5 million
- VAWA – Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) programs received $700 million, the highest appropriation level yet. New funding was also allocated for restorative justice programs as well as cash assistance for survivors. Although most VAWA programs were funded at the same level as last year, several VAWA programs received increased funding including:
- Sexual Assault Service Program – $78.5M (+24.5m)
- Services, Training, Officers Prosecutors (STOP) – $255M (+38M)
- Transitional Housing Assistance – $50M (+7M)
- Rural – $50M (+2M)
- Legal Assistance for Victims – $55M (+5M)
- Consolidated Youth Program – $17M, including $3.5 million for Engaging Men and Youth in Prevention
- Financial Assistance for Survivors – $4M
- Restorative Justice – $15m
- Child Trauma and ACES Policy – FUTURES founded and co-chairs the Child Trauma and ACEs Policy Working Group, a coalition of national organizations focused on preventing and addressing child trauma and adversity. We also received several wins for new programs that the coalition helped create and has supported over the last few years.
- Interagency Task Force on Trauma-Informed Care – $2M (+1M)
- Adverse Childhood Experiences Research – $9M (+2M)
- Children Exposed to Violence initiative at OJJDP – $10M (+2M)
- Project Aware (Section 7134 school mental health grants) – $12M set-aside (+7M)
- CAPTA – The Child Abuse Prevention Act (CAPTA) States Grants and Community Based Child Abuse Prevention (CBCAP) received $176 million, an increase of $15 million.
- Child Care – The Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) received $8 billion, an increase of $1.9 billion. This is an almost 30% increase in funding. CCDBG provides federal funding to states for child care subsidies for low-incomes families with children under the age of 13.
- Housing – $130 million for new incremental Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers to support over 11,700 additional low-income households, including families and individuals experiencing or at-risk of homelessness, survivors of domestic violence, veterans at risk of or experiencing homelessness, and youth aging out of foster care.
- International Gender-Based Violence – The Gender-Based Violence (GBV) Coalition, chaired by FUTURES, increased appropriations for global GBV work from $175 million in FY22 to $250 million in FY23.
Other key legislation that was included with the Omnibus include:
- MIECHV – The Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program was reauthorized in the bill, which allows the program to continue for five more years. Home visiting programs are successful, evidence-based programs that support new parents and their babies by having a professional, often a nurse, visit the new family regularly and help them learn how to care for their babies and young children. This is particularly valuable for young parents or those who may be struggling with poverty or who themselves may have been abused or neglected as children, or who simply don’t have any support system to help with the challenges all parents face.
- Pregnant Workers Fairness Act – The Omnibus was amended to include the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA). The bill establishes new protections against workplace discrimination for pregnant people in the workplace. For example, employers must now provide reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers such as schedule changes or altering the weight they can lift at work. This legislation will help so many pregnant people maintain their employment and stay healthy while pregnant.
- HUNT Act – FUTURES has been advocating for the women and girls of Iran as they fight for their human rights. The Masih Alinejad HUNT Act has been passed, which imposes mandatory sanctions on Iranian officials responsible for ongoing suppression of basic human rights in Iran and identifying any foreign banks transacting with those sanctioned individuals.
While there were several major wins in the final Appropriations bill, we were disappointed about two key priorities:
- Child Tax Credit – The expanded Child Tax Credit that was passed under the American Rescue Plan was not added to the Omnibus package, despite intense advocacy by FUTURES and many others. This is disappointing as the expanded credit reduced child poverty quickly and dramatically, helping the most vulnerable families the most. It was successful because it helped more families and children by expanding who was eligible for the credit, making the credit refundable on a monthly basis and increasing the amount of the credit, particularly for young children.
- FVPSA/CAPTA Reauthorization – While the Omnibus legislation provided increases in funding for the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA) and the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), Congress did not include reauthorization of these laws in the legislation. The FVPSA Improvement Act would have increased overall funding authorization levels which included more funding for culturally specific programs and tribal coalitions for the first time. The bill would have brought critical increased funding and support for survivors and their families. The CAPTA Reauthorization Act of 2021 was also not included in the bill which would have made several improvements to the legislation including significant increases in funding for prevention and directly addressing child maltreatment fatalities.
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