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.
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.
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.
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.
For the first-time in the 53-year history of Medicaid, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued guidance in January saying it would consider state proposals to take health coverage away from people who don’t meet work requirements. Since then, over a dozen states have requested such waivers from CMS.