Human Services

WIC program on pace to fall $1B short, says agriculture secretary

Unless Congress budgets more, the program will run out of money in mid-August, forcing states to waitlist those seeking help.

No wrong doors: Making benefits easier to access

When applying for benefits is too hard, families don’t get the support they need. Learning how users actually work through submitting an online application underscores how important user-centered design is to a program’s success.

Senate passes stopgap measure to avert government shutdown

The chamber approved the same “laddered” spending bill as the House in a 87-11 bipartisan vote.

Shutdown appears averted as House passes ‘laddered’ proposal

The continuing resolution extends SNAP through September, ensures other benefit programs are funded into early 2024 and avoids millions of workers being furloughed.

Not all states will go off the child care cliff

The end of federal child care subsidies will impact states differently depending on how they used the money and if they plan to spend their own.

Connect with state & local government leaders

Why this shutdown could be even more significant for states and localities

Not all states, cities and counties are the same when it comes to shutdowns, but some places will feel it more acutely than others.

Funding for WIC food assistance remains uncertain amid budget fight 

As food costs increase, more women than expected have been signing up for the program. Without increased funding, states may have to turn women and their children away. 

Low-income water assistance program set to end

Advocates are pushing to extend the program as poverty rates in the U.S. are on rise, an increase attributed to the end of other expanded pandemic benefits for food, rent and unemployment.

States will soon be required to track post-welfare employment outcomes

The new rule, part of the debt deal struck in June, is a bipartisan effort by Congress to improve welfare assistance and lift recipients out of poverty.

Crunch time in Congress could hit state and local programs

The legislative logjam on Capitol Hill is backing up everything from child care to disaster funding. Plus, more news to use from around the country in this week's State and Local Roundup.

Cities struggle to solve the public restroom problem

There's a lack of public restrooms in U.S., which particularly affects the homeless. New policies and portable toilet models are helping to address the shortage.

Food assistance for new moms and toddlers projected to fall short

The number of low-income women signing up for the federal Women, Infants and Children program is sharply increasing. But funding levels don't look likely to change. 

For states, the rollout of 988 still faces some challenges

One year in, states are struggling to staff up the suicide prevention lifeline and get the word out about its existence.

Post-pandemic, SNAP benefits aren’t high enough to buy food

A new study finds that people in three-quarters of the nation’s counties don’t receive enough food assistance to pay for their groceries.

Child welfare staffing crisis can only be solved by addressing capacity issues first

COMMENTARY | We need creative solutions to provide enough capacity for caseworkers to complete their work in an effective, timely and efficient way.

As states hunt for new voters, Massachusetts adds thousands via Medicaid applications

Any eligible voter in the state who applies for Medicaid is automatically added to the rolls, unless they opt out. Other states are exploring similar systems, which experts say could be more effective in increasing voter rolls.

Amid looming ‘child care cliff,’ states scramble to bolster programs

Billions in federal subsidies for child care providers are set to run out in September, causing as many as 3.2 million children nationwide to lose their daycare spots. Plus, more news to use from around the country in this week's State and Local Roundup.

State coffers to take a hit with the end of extra federal Medicaid funding

During the pandemic, states received more than $117 billion in additional federal Medicaid funding in return for pausing disenrollments. That extra money is set to end this year.

Mayors: There’s a Mental Health Crisis in Every City

It is causing drug overdoses and homelessness in cities across America. But with the debt deal to freeze spending, it is uncertain whether federal help is coming.

Feds Give States More Flexibility in Medicaid Redeterminations

But, according to federal data, states already aren’t using all the latitude given to them to keep eligible people on the low-income health care program.