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November 16, 2016

 

Update from Safe States

 

With a new President moving into the White House next year, Safe States has dedicated significant time and energy over the past few months towards developing a transition document intended to secure early and strong support from our next President for federal injury and violence prevention programs. The transition document, “IVPN’s Call to Action for the Trump Administration” was drafted in collaboration with members of the Injury and Violence Prevention Network (IVPN), which is a group of national organizations led by Safe States that work to advance injury and violence prevention policies at the national level.

To maximize the effectiveness of “IVPN’s Call to Action for the Trump Administration,” Safe States is presenting the document to the leadership of Donald Trump's transition team, and senior officials at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The document signals actions that can be taken by a new administration interested in advancing injury and violence prevention policy; yet, may not be familiar with the various injury and violence prevention programs that exist at the federal level. Specifically, the document provides funding recommendations and background information on a wide range of issues within the injury and violence prevention arena.

Furthermore, Safe States is working to broaden dissemination of the transition document through various channels including its website, social media, and vast IVPN network. To help expand the document’s reach, we invite you to share the transition document with your partner organizations and other stakeholders. Not only does the document pave the way for President-elect Trump to take concrete action in support of injury and violence prevention policy, it is also a tool that can be utilized to increase awareness of federal injury and violence prevention programs broadly.

Please contact Paul Bonta, Director of Government Affairs, with any questions or requests for assistance.


October 18, 2016

 

Update from Safe States

 

With the presidential campaigns entering their final stretch in the run up to the Nov. 8th elections, media outlets have devoted precious little time to other important news that impacts the future of injury and violence prevention efforts. However, Safe Sates has been working to keep its finger on the pulse of injury and violence prevention activities and is happy to share some of the latest happenings that may not have made it to your inbox.

One of the most important discussions is taking place right now as Republican leaders in Congress work to solidify their plans for how best to finish the 2017 appropriations process during the lame-duck session of Congress. Both the House and Senate will return to Capitol Hill the week after the elections in an effort to reach agreement on a massive spending package that will avert a government shutdown and fund government agencies through Fiscal Year 2017. With continued focus on the need to address sports concussions and traumatic brain injuries, and prescription drug overdose, including dissemination of the recently approved Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines on use of prescription pain medications, the dynamics of those negotiations will likely impact FY 2017 funding levels for these and other injury and violence prevention activities. Safe States will continue to monitor these negotiations and keep members apprised of important developments, including potential opportunities to engage in the process at the grassroots level.

Other important developments include:

  • A new CDC study, “The Economic Burden of Prescription Opioid Overdose, Abuse and Dependence in the United States, 2013” that notes prescription opioid abuse, dependence, and overdose cost the U.S. $78.5 billion in 2013.

  • A National Institutes of Health (NIH)-convened panel developed a 10-year road map for advancing research to prevent youth suicide. The panel’s recommendations address three critical issues: improving data systems, enhancing data collection and analysis methods, and strengthening the research and practice community.

  • An article in JAMA called for a change in the language of addiction to avoid stigmatizing those who suffer from substance use disorders (SUDs). “Patients may be referred to as ‘junkies,’ ‘crackheads,’ or other pejorative terms that describe them solely through the lens of their addiction or their implied personal failings…language related to SUDs does influence perceptions and judgments, even among health care professionals with substantial experience and expertise,” wrote the authors.

Safe States will continue to monitor and relay important policy developments to you. We are crafting a wide-ranging transition document to highlight the need for federal investments in specific injury and violence prevention programs that impact the communities you serve. Please be on the lookout for the document in the weeks ahead as we encourage you to share our priorities for the next administration with your partners and relevant stakeholders.

 

Please contact Paul Bonta, Director of Government Affairs, with any questions or requests for assistance.

 


September 14, 2016

 

Update from Safe States

 

Just as Congress was returning to Capitol Hill after a prolonged summer recess, members of the Safe States Executive Committee were in Washington, DC meeting with members of their congressional delegation to shine a spotlight on the needs of the injury and violence prevention community. The meetings served as an opportunity to increase the visibility of the Safe States brand in Congress, while maintaining the drumbeat on the need to advance federal injury and violence prevention programs.

 

Although the summer recess just ended, several members of Congress are already eager to get off the Hill and back out on the campaign trail in advance of the impending November elections.  The one barrier to their quick exit from Congress is passage of a continuing resolution (CR), which will be necessary to keep government agencies operating past the end of the current fiscal year on September 30th. Tied to the CR negotiation is funding to combat the Zika virus that continues to expand its reach across the country.

 

With conservative Republicans pushing for a long-term CR that would avoid a lame-duck session of Congress following the elections (a session that meets after the successor is elected but before the successor’s term begins), as well as a fully-funded Zika package, Congress faces a challenging environment in identifying a compromise that will receive support from a majority of either caucus.  However, history has proven that deadlines in Congress is the one binding factor that has routinely led to legislative action, and this year will be no different.

 

Early reports indicate that Senate leaders are preparing a short-term CR through early December that includes funding for Zika. They hope to pass this CR with a quick turnaround – within the next few days – after which many delegates will leave town until after the elections.  Such a move would put House Speaker Paul Ryan in the difficult position of having to bring the Senate-passed bill up for consideration in his chamber or bring the Senate back after it adjourns to prevent a government shutdown. Either scenario is fraught with considerable challenges, yet will be aided by the Sept. 30th deadline, which if nothing else, will propel action.

 

Should Congress move forward with plans to enact a short-term CR, Safe States will be back on the Hill following the elections in an effort to influence the appropriations end-game.  We will keep you apprised of any developments that may impact funding for injury and violence prevention programs and may be calling on you to contact members of your congressional delegation to ensure federal injury and violence prevention programs are front-and-center and end-of-year funding decisions materialize.  Please be on the lookout of further updates!

 

Please contact Paul Bonta, Director of Government Affairs, with any questions or requests for assistance.

 

 

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