With President Trump threatening to veto any government spending bill that does not include $5 billion for his border wall, the government shutdown has halted federal spending for TANF, which funds cash assistance, job training, and other critical services for low-income families.
Yesterday, Congress passed the First Step Act with overwhelming bipartisan support. The compromise bill is the first federal legislation in decades that attempts to address the nation's unacceptable mass incarceration problem, while also providing critical reentry resources to support returning citizens' access to employment, training, and support services.
Congress passed the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA). The bill strengthens JJDPA’s core protections, adds accountability measures, and stipulates use of evidence-based and trauma-informed approaches to juvenile justice policy and practice.
Recently, after months of stalemate, the U.S. House and Senate have reached a 2018 farm bill agreement that not only protects SNAP, but also rejects the House-passed bill to take away food assistance from people through cuts and stricter work requirements.
Democrats won all statewide offices in Wisconsin last month and Republicans are now attempting to rush through a set of bills that would make early voting harder, protect a conservative candidate for the Wisconsin Supreme Court, bar the state from vacating litigation that threatens the ACA, and strip power from the new Democratic governor and attorney general.
Voters in Utah, Nebraska, and Idaho all gave a resounding “yes” to Medicaid expansion when they went to the polls in November. And in Kansas, Wisconsin, and North Carolina, the results signal improved political climates for expansion.
While the justice policy wins represent important progress that will meaningfully improve millions of people’s lives, they also highlight just how much further the nation must go to unwind a system of overcriminalization, mass incarceration, and injustice that’s rooted in racism.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released a framework to establish a new class of apprenticeship programs known as Industry Recognized Apprenticeship Programs, or IRAPS. The framework, released in July, raises serious questions about the future and quality of apprenticeship under the Trump Administration.