Washington Update

Policymakers focus on school and mental health proposals in wake of shooting

Scott Barstow & Art Terrazas March 1, 2013

Following the tragic mass school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, policymakers at the national and state levels are considering policies both to restrict access to guns and to increase access to mental health and student support services. Most notably, President Obama released a broad set of proposals in mid-January that included steps to increase the number…continue reading

Deep federal spending cuts averted — for now

Scott Barstow, Art Terrazzas & Jessica Eagle February 1, 2013

Hours after the start of the new year, Congress and President Obama agreed to a package of tax cuts, tax increases and spending changes to avert the major policy changes scheduled to take place under previous law. The Senate passed the package — the American Taxpayer Relief Act (H.R. 8) — by a vote of…continue reading

Election increases importance of grass-roots advocacy

Scott Barstow & Jessica Eagle January 1, 2013

In the national elections held in November, voters largely kept in place the lawmakers they currently have, including President Obama and members of Congress. As a result, the nation will continue to operate with the House of Representatives being controlled by Republicans, and the presidency and the Senate in the hands of Democrats. This combination…continue reading

ACA asks TRICARE to clarify, adjust counselor certification

Scott Barstow & Jessica Eagle December 1, 2012

Counselors across the country are trying to become certified under new requirements for participation in TRICARE, the health care program operated by the Department of Defense (DoD) for active-duty military personnel, dependents and retirees. In some cases, the process appears to be working, but many counselors are running into problems. This is bad news both…continue reading

Congress passes resolution to fund federal government for six months

Scott Barstow, Art Terrazas, Guila Todd & Jessica Eagle November 1, 2012

Federal Fiscal Year 2013 started Oct. 1, and to avoid a potential government shutdown, Congress passed legislation at the end of September to maintain funding for federal agencies at current levels until the end of March. Although the partisan disagreement in Washington between the two political parties is at historically high levels, lawmakers on both…continue reading