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ADVOCACY & POLICY UPDATE - August 30, 2021

House Passes $3.5 Trillion Budget Resolution

Washington Update

Budget Resolution

After a day of negotiations, on Tuesday, August 24, the House approved the Senate-passed $3.5 trillion budget resolution for FY22 and advanced the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package in a party-line vote of 220-212. Democratic leaders and a group of 10 party moderates who planned to vote against the budget, unless the infrastructure vote came first, came to an agreement to hold the infrastructure vote no later than September 27. The budget resolution was included as a component of a rule that set debate parameters for the Senate-passed infrastructure bill and voting rights legislation, and also included language that ensures the infrastructure bill will be brought to the floor by September 27. The House also passed a voting rights bill. According to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (MD), leadership hopes to have the reconciliation package, which committees have a September 15 deadline to assemble, ready for floor action around the same time as the infrastructure bill with a goal of passing both by the end of September.

Department of Labor Grants

On Tuesday, August 24, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced the availability of up to $3.5 million in grant funding to establish a centralized resource for sharing proven practices and technical assistance tools to strengthen and improve outcomes for the public workforce system. Administered by the department’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA), the funding will help establish a Workforce System Technical Assistance Collaborative to serve as a hub for sharing tools, resources and knowledge throughout the public workforce system. This coordinated approach to service delivery will help jobseekers obtain employment and help employers hire and retain skilled workers.

DOL will award one or more grants to applicants that demonstrate the ability to provide comprehensive technical assistance and specialized proficiency while implementing programs successfully in a rapidly changing environment. Once established, the collaborative will also help the public workforce system improve employment services delivered to individuals from marginalized communities to ensure an equitable recovery for all.

Click here to learn more about the funding opportunity.

Education Workforce Support Letter

On Wednesday, August 25, forty civil and disability rights and education justice organizations sent a letter to Congress urging them to include a $9 billion investment in “a well-prepared, diverse, stable, and supported educator workforce,” in a budget reconciliation bill. Their plan would include $2.8 billion for the Teacher Quality Partnership Program; $400 million to support educator preparation at minority-serving institutions; $900 million for a personnel preparation program to support the comprehensive preparation of special education teachers; funding to double the TEACH grant award; $1.6 billion to create a fund to help teachers earn additional certifications in high-demand subjects; and $2 billion to invest in teacher leadership.

Click here to read the full letter.

Initial Jobless Claims

In the week ending August 21, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 353,000, an increase of 4,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by 1,000 from 348,000 to 349,000. The 4-week moving average was 366,500, a decrease of 11,500 from the previous week's revised average. This is the lowest level for this average since March 14, 2020 when it was 225,500. The previous week's average was revised up by 250 from 377,750 to 378,000. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.1 percent for the week ending August 14, unchanged from the previous week's unrevised rate.

Click here to access the full report.

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