Legislative Updates

May 2021

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

The US Department of Labor released a report Friday, May 7th, that 266,000 new jobs were created in April. That number is considered strong in normal times but low compared to the 770,000 created in March and 536,000 in February. Economists anticipated more growth as vaccine rollout continues and businesses reopen. Conservative lawmakers suggest that pandemic-era unemployment benefits discourage workers from taking available jobs, while progressives use this to indicate that businesses are not offering high enough wages.


117th US Congress


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/

  • President Biden will meet Wednesday, May 12th, with Congressional leadership, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, to discuss his $2.25 trillion infrastructure proposal. On Thursday, May 13th, Biden will meet with GOP Senators, led by Senator Shelley Moore Capito, who has proposed a $568B alternate plan. Senate Republicans have expressed concerns with Biden's plan to raise taxes on the wealthiest 1.8% of Americans and corporations to pay for the proposal but have indicated support for a targeted infrastructure package. The goal of this week's meetings will be to identify common ground and determine where the two parties can work together.
  • 1st 100 Days in the White House - ACA Government Affairs May Blog
  • March Call for WorkforceInRecoverySignOnLetter.pdf  Collaboratively signed by the respective leadership of the National Skills Coalition, National Association of Workforce Development Professionals, NCDAMCDAMCA and  more . . .
  • The Hill We Climb by Amanda Gorman

Maryland General Assembly (442nd 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 closed its 2021 ‘90 day’ session on April 12th. To find bills that passed both chambers at the time you are reading this you can link to http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/mgawebsite, scroll down to the Legislation section and click on Bills Passed by Both Chambers. One bill of note that passed both chambers and is awaiting the Governor's signature is the Interstate Licensed Professional Counselors Compact (SB571/HB736). The National Center for Interstate Compacts has a webpage for the compact which includes FAQs, an infographic, factsheets, a copy of the compact and section summary, and other resources. They can be found at https://counselingcompact.org. Consider checking in with your delegates and senator to see if any post-session Town Hall meetings are being planned for your district.


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 pdf handouts:

Current ACA Federal Issues

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

Save-the-Dates & plan to attend the following ACA Advocacy Power Hours. Registration links will be provided here closer to the virtual events.

All Thursdays, all beginning at 3:00 PM

The content and connection for the May 13, 2021, 03:00 PM meeting follows:

The Counseling Compact and state initiatives will be discussed including a brief update on lessons learned and state successes regarding the Compact from Maryland and Georgia. 

The Zoom link is:   zoom.us/j/93807262906

Meeting ID: 938 0726 2906

Dial by your location:

        +1 646 558 8656 US (New York)

        +1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)

        +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

        +1 669 900 9128 US (San Jose)

        +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)

        +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)

The content and connection for the Jun 10, 2021 03:00 PM will be shared when available.

April’s ACA Advocacy Power Hour discusses climate changes impact on mental health with three experts in the mental health and environmental policy and advocacy fields. You can view "Climate Change and Mental Health" on ACA’s YouTube channel, Counseling Views, or at: Climate Change & Mental Health | ACA Advocacy Power Hour (April 2021). 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 on the following pdf handouts for further information on ACA's Federal Issues:

    1. ACA Responds to Violence, Harassment and Bullying Against Asian American Community.pdf
    2. ACA'S RESPONSE TO THE OFFICE OF REFUGEE RESETTLEMENT'S MOA WITH ICE
    3. MEDICARE REIMBURSEMENT
    4. FUNDING FOR SCHOOL COUNSELING
    5. OPIOID ADDICTION
    6. THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS AND COUNSELORS
    7. FEDERAL GRANTS FOR COUNSELING


    Current MCA State & Federal Issues

    Advocacy Day 2021 Summarized

     Letter from the President (from Compass Points, Fall 2020 issue)

      Carol ZA McGinnis PhD, SIP, BC-TMH, NCC, LCPC

    “We are passionate about advocacy that will empower the voiceless and the oppressed in our world and want to be a part of positive change to the poor, the disenfranchised, and the mentally ill.”

    “Please know that MCA cares about you and your family at this difficult time and welcomes ideas for advocacy that comes with this investment in our political system.”

    Currently, the Advocacy Committee is following and preparing information for MCA members on numerous bills being proposed and worked on in the US Congress. The MCA website will be updated to provide summaries and possible action steps. A brief overview of the bills we are posting are concerning:

    1. Funding for safety and health risk programs for COVID-19
    2. Mental health services for children separated from parents at the border
    3. Mental health screening for children entering foster care
    4. Trauma support and mental health services for children and youth in educational settings
    5. Department of Veterans Affairs fulfilling shortages with licensed mental health professionals
    6. Research on mental health disparities of minorities


      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)
      5430 Campbell Boulevard #113
      White Marsh, Maryland 21162

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