Legislative Updates

     May 2022  

     Legislative links, information and opportunities from federal to state . . .

Since Tuesday, 1/18/22, through Federal & State government cooperation, you can order four $FREE$ rapid COVID tests via the USPS.

  • Just fill out the form at this link: https://special.usps.com/testkits
  • Orders will ship free starting in late January. Limit of two orders per residential address, and one order includes four individual rapid antigen COVID-19 tests.

117th US Congress

  • Both the House and the Senate are in session this week, 05/16.
  • The Senate overwhelmingly voted on Monday, 5/16, to move toward passage of $40 billion in aid to Ukraine, underscoring the broad Republican and Democratic support for the country as it defends itself against Russia’s invasion. Monday’s 81-11 procedural vote sets up Senate passage of the legislation this week, if all lawmakers consent to waive rules on debate. That would send it to President Joe Biden for his signature if no changes are made from the version passed in the House. The package has been held up by Senator Rand Paul (R-KY). Last Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and GOP leader Mitch McConnell, also of Kentucky, made a rare joint offer to allow an amendment vote on language Paul sought. But he wanted the provision, which would have likely failed on the floor, written into the legislation itself.
  • The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2022 (WIOA) is expected to pass the House this week, 5/16. The bill, which passed out of the Education and Labor Committee last month with Democratic support, would reauthorize key workforce development programs through the Department of Labor. The bill’s future in the Senate, however, is unclear.
The legislation fully funds WIOA programs by authorizing $74 billion over six years, which will allow the workforce system to serve one million workers per year by 2028;
      1. Establishes a permanent Department of Labor program to help individuals released from incarceration transition back to employment and access sustainable career pathways; 
      2. Expands summer and year-round jobs programs for youth; 
      3. Strengthens the quality of the Jobs Corps program; 
      4. Codifies partnerships between employers and community colleges to provide high-quality jobs training; 
      5. Strengthens industry and sector partnerships to better meet the needs of both employers and job seekers; and 
      6. Provides funding for innovative approaches to workforce development. 
    For the full text of the WIOA Act of 2022, click here.
    • A new Congress begins at noon January 3 of each odd-numbered year following a general election, unless it designates a different day by law. A Congress lasts for two years, with each year constituting a separate session.
    • To connect to the House or Representatives, Leadership, Committees, Activities and more:  https://www.house.gov/.
    • To connect to the Senate for Leadership, Committees, Legislation and more:  https://www.senate.gov/.


    To get the latest from the White House . . .

    and learn more about our 46th president of the United States, Joseph R. Biden, Jr., our 49th vice president, Kamala Harris, and the growing number of Executive Orders, memorandums and proclamations: https://www.whitehouse.gov/
    • On 05/10/2022, President Biden spoke at the White House about his Administration’s efforts to curb inflation. The President labeled addressing rising inflation as his “top domestic priority.” The issue is a rising concern for Democrats as it threatens to derail their chances in the midterms later this year.
    • Education Secretary Cardona is preparing to roll back Title IX guidelines initially imposed by previous Secretary Betsy DeVos. Along with casting off these Trump Administration guidelines, Secretary Cardona is also expected to codify safeguards for transgender students for the first time.


    Maryland General Assembly (444th session)

    To connect to the Senate President and House Speaker, further explore House & Senate Standing Committees, Joint Standing Committees and MD Manual On-Line, click on:  https://msa.maryland.gov/msa/mdmanual/07leg/html/ga.html.

    The General Assembly completed its 2022 Legislative Session. It convened on Wednesday, January 12th at noon and closed its ‘90 day’ session on Monday April 11th. To review the 2022 session, consider visiting the site's video Tutorial page for topics such as:

    • Overall introduction to the website
    • Understanding a bill
    • Searching for bills
    • Bill tracking lists


    MCDA’s national and state legislative direction (or its particular cause or policy) has been and will continue to be linked to its affiliations. As a MCDA member, you also may enjoy membership in all three affiliate groups NCDA, ACA and MCA, in only one more or in just two of the three. However, your membership $dollars$ in MCDA links you to the advocacy efforts of all three groups. .


    Current NCDA Federal Legislation and Policy Issues

         https://www.ncda.org/aws/NCDA/pt/sp/govtrelations

    Three key federal issues that will impact career counselors:

    1. Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act
      Elementary and Secondary Education Act Reauthorization
    2. Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act
      Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Reauthorization
    3. Appropriations for the Departments of Labor and Education
      Appropriations

    Each issue includes policy provisions, program developments or spending cuts that will directly affect career counselors across the country.

    Also see the following pdf handouts:


    Current ACA Federal Issues

         https://www.counseling.org/government-affairs/federal-issues

    Tuesday, May 10, 2022:  MEDICARE ACTION ALERT

    Please tell Congress to support their constituents by expanding access to mental health care. 

    The Mental Health Access Improvement Act (S. 828/H.R. 432) would close the gap in federal law that prevents mental health counselors from being recognized as Medicare providers. This legislation would give Medicare beneficiaries access to more than 225,000 additional licensed mental health professionals and help close the widening treatment gap between people on Medicare and people with private insurance.

    Passing the Mental Health Access Improvement Act will:

    • provide you as a licensed mental health counselor the option of enrolling as a provider within the Medicare program, thus increasing your opportunities to earn income;
    • improve access to mental health care for people age 65 and older, people under age 65 with disabilities and people with end stage renal disease (kidney failure); and
    • increase mental health provider options for U.S. veterans.

    If this legislation becomes law:

    • licensed mental health counselors will receive reimbursement for mental health care services rendered to eligible clients at a rate equal to that currently paid to Medicare providers in the field of social work.

    We at the American Counseling Association are calling on you and others in the counseling community to continue engaging your congressional representatives on the need for this legislation. Let them know today that including mental health counselors as Medicare providers will help to close a critical gap in coverage for many people. We need all counselors of all specialties to support this legislation. A win here is a win for the entire counseling community. After you take action, please ask your colleagues, family and friends to do so too and to share this Action Alert with their networks. Thank you for your support.

    Please note: The term “mental health counselor” encompasses all licensed practicing counselors working in the United States, regardless of how the licensed counselors are referred to in a particular state.

    Click the link below to log in and send your message:
    https://www.votervoice.net/BroadcastLinks/cMjZxMfcYmNpjQH0t6Dx8Q

    • In the new fiscal year (July 2021-June 2022), ACA's Advocacy Power Hour (APH) will be scheduled on the 2nd Thursday every other month at 3PM ET. Check back here to find more about the APH discussion topics. Typically they include state policy and Counseling Compact updates.
    • Click here for ACA Statement of Conflict in Ukraine.
    • If you have any questions or would you like to follow up, please contact the Government Affairs and Public Policy Team at advocacy@counseling.org.
    • Please click here for further information on ACA's Federal Issues.

    MCA Advocacy

    Please connect to the MCA Advocacy Committee's web page for updates.


    To become legislatively active with either the national or state levels
    or with both levels
    or if you have any questions,
    please contact

    MCDA’s Legislative Chair at:
    MCDA.Legislative@MDCareers.org.

    Log in

    Email:  MCDA.Info@MDCareers.org

    Maryland Career Development Association (MCDA)
    915 Russell Ave, Suite B,
    Gaithersburg, MD 20879

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