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GAO: National broadband network won’t replace current land mobile radio systems

According to a recently-released GAO report, the newly-proposed national public safety broadband network would not be able to support mission-critical voice capabilities of land mobile radio (LMR) systems for the foreseeable future. The broadband network would be a supplement that would enhance interoperability and increase data transfer rates of current LMR systems. Public safety agencies will continue to have to invest in LMR devices for what looks to be at least another 10 years. GAO believes public safety agencies probably overpay for LMR technology, and will continue to do so unless agencies collaborate and procure together.


The public safety and homeland security industry continues to grow as technologies advance. State and local government spending in this area has fluctuated regularly, but over the next decade, growth should remain steady, especially when including local spending. Deltek tracks these state and local projects and provides thoughtful analysis. In the public safety communication industry, Deltek is currently tracking more than 500 radio system projects throughout the country, including key projects in New York and Iowa.


Florida FY 2013 Budget: Consolidation on the Horizon in the Sunshine State

As Florida Governor Rick Scott enters the second year of his first term, he confronts similar budget obstacles for FY 2013 as he did in FY 2012, with declining tax revenues and a deficit in the billions. Scott also faces another year of slow economic recovery, in addition to a population boom of more than 250,000 new state residents and depleted federal stimulus funds. Despite these challenges, Scott is pressing on with last year’s initiatives of trying to achieve a smaller government through reduced spending, and trying to boost private sector growth through tax cuts and deregulation. Scott presented his FY 2013 state budget recommendations on Dec. 5, 2011, with numbers that fell in lockstep with those initiatives.

The governor’s overall FY 2013 budget recommendations increased only .85 percent from his FY 2012 budget. However, IT spending among all state agencies significantly increased by 22.78 percent. It seems Gov. Scott has learned from his first budget last year, and those lessons were showcased in this year’s recommendations. Scott highlighted his top priorities for FY 2013 with decreases in health care and corrections, and increases in education. Due to backlash Scott received last year for making more than a billion dollars in cuts to education, it seems he decided to change course and reinstate those funds while vocalizing a renewed commitment to prioritize education. Needing to make cuts somewhere, Scott turned his sights toward health care, specifically Medicaid, as it received the largest cuts – more than $1.5 billion. Corrections also saw more than $130 million in cuts, due in large part to Scott’s plan to consolidate correctional facilities and privatize both prison system operations and health care services. The privatization of the state prison system may have a huge affect on how technology devices, systems, and services are procured for justice and public safety in the future.

For IT-specific spending, the top vertical increases in Gov. Scott’s budget are in general government (15.45 percent), transportation (11.89 percent), and social services (323.10 percent). Specifically, the Departments of Revenue, Management Services, Agriculture and Consumer Services, and Children and Family Services all saw an increase in IT budgets for FY 2013. The remaining agencies’ IT budget increases were chiefly allocated to support the consolidation and transfer of email services and data processing to state-owned data center facilities.Since 2009, the state has been transitioning agencies’ data processing, email, application, and hosting IT service needs to one of these three primary data centers. Currently, there are more than 12 agencies still scheduled to transfer their IT services over the next three to four years. As agencies continue to move their data center services to these primary data centers, the Agency for Enterprise Information Technology (AEIT) projects the state’s increased need for more capacity, which could mean more data centers in the future. Big opportunities for data center operation service providers or data center real estate owners could be on the horizon in the next five to seven years.

Analyst’s Take

Since the state of Florida is seeing another tax revenue shortfall and billion-dollar deficit, it’s not likely that the state’s fiscal health will rebound much this year. In the meantime, I believe Gov. Scott has the foresight to “spend money to save money” in the future, especially if it means greater efficiencies and smaller government. This may translate into the pursuit of updated and modernized IT solutions and systems – the Department of Children and Family Services’ high-dollar IT projects and the continued data center consolidation project serve as good examples.

GovWin subscribers have access to expanded analysis of Florida's FY 2013 Executive Budget, including detailed budget data, available here.



Progress and promise: The original HIEs

With the other HIE, health insurance exchanges, now taking the market by storm, it is easy to forget the exchange that first caught our attention and dominated our coverage for so long: health information exchanges (HIEs). Indeed, even a cursory glance back at the written analysis of our health care and social services team makes evident the importance of these exchanges. With a nod to our historical work on HIEs, a look at the current procurement landscape, and an examination of a current statewide HIE request for proposals (RFP), one will get a sense of both progress and potential through this latest analysis.
Subscribers have access expanded analysis and the full article, here.
Our first mention of health information exchanges came back in 2007 as part of a discussion about the cost of health information technology (HIT). At the time, we found that a lack of public policy and opposition from individual physicians was stalling adoption of HIT initiatives like HIEs. In two short years, the country experienced a change of leadership and a great recession, and the public policy will to adopt HIT came to fruition.
In early 2009, we saw the future of health care reform through stimulus funding for electronic health records and HIEs. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 provided approximately $150 billion in health care spending, including $564 million under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH). States were granted one award, ranging from $4 million to $40 million per state. The State HIE Cooperative Agreement Program funded states' efforts to rapidly build capacity for exchanging health information across the health care system.

And rapidly build they did. In 2010, just one year later, we saw 27 states release an RFP or award a contract for their HIE. As of today, that number has risen to 46 states, with only four states still working on an RFP. A quick glance at today’s map might leave some with the impression that, given the prevalence of red, there is no more work to be done in this space; however,that is the wrong conclusion to draw...
The remainder of this analysis is subscriber only content. Subscribers have access to expanded analysis on opportunities, and detailed date, here 

New Mexico Granted NCLB Waiver Request; Seeks Accountability and Evaluation Systems

A few weeks ago, President Barack Obama freed 10 states from some requirements of No Child Left Behind’s (NCLB) toughest requirements. After committing to their own, federally-approved plans, these states will now be allowed to pursue alternate means of measuring student progress and achievement.
The first 10 states to obtain a waiver from the education law were Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oklahoma and Tennessee. The only state that applied for the flexibility and was denied - New Mexico - was recently granted approval by the administration.
After initially having its request denied, New Mexico is now free from the unpopular federal system of rating public schools, and has the flexibility to implement its own school grading program rather than following the mandates of the NCLB.
In order to receive approval, New Mexico had to show the federal government how the state would work with school districts to narrow the "achievement gap" between various groups of students. In New Mexico, test results have long showed a big disparity in student achievement among ethnic and racial groups.
With New Mexico getting its waiver request, Deltek would like to highlight the state and discuss its plans to prepare children for college and careers, set new targets for improving achievement for all students, and reward and help top-performing and underperforming schools.
As part of its plan, New Mexico has disclosed two IT-specific initiatives, including a plan to
1.     Develop and Implement a State-Based System of Differentiated Recognition, Accountability, and Support, and
2.     Develop and Adopt Guidelines for Local Teacher and Principal Evaluation and Support Systems.
Among New Mexico’s top priorities is to Develop and Implement a State-Based System of Differentiated Recognition, Accountability and Support. This system will be designed to improve student achievement and school performance, close achievement gaps, and increase the quality of instruction for students. The state said it plans to implement the system no later than the 2012-2013 school year.
Elsewhere, New Mexico is also seeking to Develop and Adopt Guidelines for Local Teacher and Principal Evaluation and Support Systems. As part of this, New Mexico proposed in August 2011 to overhaul its evaluation system for teachers and school leaders; a measure to implement this plan is currently pending in the legislature. If the bill doesn't pass, New Mexico will have to consider whether a new evaluation system can be done through regulations.
Overall, New Mexico has called for establishing an evaluation system that utilizes student achievement as a critical component of the process, reformulating the compensation system to reflect the evaluation process, and enhancing the recruitment and retention of teachers and school leaders through enhanced professional development. It would also like to add incentivized pay for teachers and school leaders to serve in high-need, low income schools.
Looking for a comprehensive overview of the Primary/Secondary Education IT market? Check out Deltek's latest industry report on the topic here.


Great day for 10 states: HHS releases $230 million for health insurance exchange efforts

Today, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded 10 additional states funding under the Level One and Two establishment grants. Grant awards amount to approximately $230 million. Interestingly enough, Arkansas, which has opted for the federal exchange, is among the awardees. Legislation to establish an insurance exchange failed to pass in the state last year; however, the state is still determining its role in utilizing the federal option. The establishment grants are used to help states build functions to operate under a statewide exchange, partnership exchange, or to support activities to build interfaces with a federally-facilitated exchange.
HHS, in conjunction with the Department of Treasury, also revealed its finalized proposed ruling, which outlines the steps states may take to obtain a State Innovation Waiver under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This option gives states more flexibility to pursue innovative strategies to ensure their residents have access to quality, affordable health insurance. Under the new proposed rule, states would be allowed to change benefit levels or add new ones to plans offered in their insurance exchanges. The waivers would be provided for up to five years, with an option to renew.
Here’s a quick summary of today’s awards:
Arkansas: $7.7 million
Colorado: $18 million
Massachusetts: $11.6 million
New Jersey: $7.7 million
Pennsylvania: $33.8 million
Kentucky: $57.9 million
Minnesota: $26.1 million
Nevada: $15.3 million
New York: $48.5 million
Tennessee: $2.2 million
Be sure to download a copy of Deltek’s recently-published report, “Evolving Health Insurance Exchange”, which takes a deep dive into implementation statuses and strategies across the states in this effort. And, as always, follow us on Twitter @GovWin_HHS, or connect with us through LinkedIn.


Tennessee Granted NCLB Waiver Request; Seeks Accountability and Evaluation Systems

On Thursday (2/9/2012), President Barack Obama freed 10 states from some requirements of No Child Left Behind’s toughest requirements. Those states, which had to commit to their own, federally approved plans, will now be allowed to pursue alternate means of measuring student progress.
The first 10 states to obtain a waiver from the education law are Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oklahoma and Tennessee. The only state that applied for the flexibility and was denied - New Mexico - is working with the administration to get approval. In addition, 28 other states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have indicated that they also plan to submit waivers to the law in order to pursue their own plans.
Overall, the states that received waivers no longer have to meet deadlines under NCLB. Instead, they have to submit their own plans detailing how they will prepare children for college and careers, set new targets for improving achievement for all students, and reward and help top performing schools and underperformers.
Over the last few months, Deltek has been reviewing the various states which have applied for waivers and detailing some of the notable information technology-related initiatives associated with their requests. 
In this week’s installment, Deltek would like to highlight the state of Tennessee and discuss its plans to “meaningfully improve instruction and raise achievement for all students.” As part of its waiver request, Tennessee has disclosed two IT-specific initiatives, including a plan to:
1.     Provide a State-Developed Differentiated Recognition, Accountability, and Support System, and
2.     Develop and Adopt Guidelines for Local Teacher and Principal Evaluation and Support Systems.
Among Tennessee’s top priorities is to Develop and Implement a State-Based System of Differentiated Recognition, Accountability and Support. This accountability system will be implemented no later than the 2012-2013 school year, and will be designed to “improve student achievement and school performance, close achievement gaps, and increase the quality of instruction for students.” 
In its waiver request, Tennessee said the proposed accountability structure reinforces the goals, priorities, and plans outlined in the state’s Race to the Top proposal, while providing the flexibility and tailored interventions necessary to ensure that the Department of Education can significantly increase student achievement and reduce achievement gaps across the state.
Tennessee is also seeking to Develop and Adopt Guidelines for Local Teacher and Principal Evaluation and Support Systems. As part of this, Tennessee said it implemented a comprehensive, student-outcomes-based, state-wide educator evaluation system in July 2011. The state’s TEAM (Tennessee Educator Acceleration Model) system is a comprehensive evaluation tool designed to improve instructional practices. 
The TEAM program gives educators a roadmap to instructional excellence, a process to guide reflection, and a common language for collaborating to improve instructional practice and examine student outcomes. Tennessee is also using the TEAM system for the evaluation of principals and plans to implement the system state-wide in the 2011-2012 school year.
Overall, Tennessee said it’s currently developing “robust” data systems which will allow teachers, schools, and the state to track and learn from student progress and other indicators at each level. The Department of Education said it’s focusing on a P-12 system – which includes teacher evaluation, a more robust student information system, an expanded TVAAS (Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System) data reporting system, and a P-20 statewide longitudinal data system, among other things. The data systems will allow the state to monitor the ways in which common core state standards (CCSS) instruction drives student progress, learn from the CCSS-aligned field test items how well students are achieving the standards, and study the extent to which teachers are delivering quality instruction (from teacher evaluation data).
Subscribers have access to the full article, here.


Mississippi Gov. Bryant previews ambitious goals in annual state of the state address

Just two weeks after being sworn in as the 64th Governor of Mississippi, Phil Bryant delivered his 2012 state of the state address. In his speech, Bryant set forth a robust and ambitious agenda for helping his state thrive in the years ahead. From employment, energy, transportation, health care, and education, Bryant’s initiatives run the gamut of government verticals, all in hopes of boosting Mississippi’s economic landscape and bettering the lives of its citizens. 
The main objective: Employment
As is the case in many states battling unemployment, Bryant said his top priority is to “make sure every Mississippian has a job.” To get the jobs ball rolling, Bryant is proposing a package to the state legislature known as the Mississippi Works Agenda. He plans to have the Mississippi Department of Education, the Department of Employment Security, and state community colleges work together to launch a workforce training program that students at risk of dropping out can enroll in to learn marketable workforce skills.
Bryant also plans to expand state business with the Mississippi Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Act, which will authorize a review committee to oversee regulations in state agencies to determine whether or not current functions are stunting job growth.
Energy initiatives
Parallel with Bryant’s economic development and regulation initiatives is a strong focus on natural resources and the environment. The governor touted Mississippi as a “leader in the energy economy,” and said its innovative approach to power sourcing will spur great success in the 21st century. Bryant is proposing the Energy Sustainability and Development Act of 2012 to create incentives to employers who generate savings through energy-efficient upgrades.
The act will also result in the creation of the Biomass Center for Excellence, which will involve “a partnership of the public, private, and education sectors to coordinate and promote biomass research, development, and manufacturing.” Bryant said the money saved through public sector upgrades will reduce tax money spent on energy and therefore allocate more funds to infrastructure, public safety and education initiatives.
Merging energy with transportation, Bryant is asking the Mississippi Department of Finance and Administration to implement a pilot program to transition fleet vehicles to natural-gas-powered automobiles in an effort to save money and power.
Expanding health care
Standing next to energy as a leader in economic growth is health care, said Bryant. To aid in the expansion of Mississippi health care services, he proposed the creation of tax-credited medical zones throughout the state for medical facilities to be constructed and jobs be created. The governor has also tasked the Mississippi Economic Council with conducting a study to determine how to increase economic development opportunities in the health care arena. With the study, Bryant is calling for 10 recommendations on how best to advance the industry. He declared the project an “effort unlike anything in the nation; a comprehensive action plan to provide health care as an industry of necessity.”

Advancing education
Gov. Bryant is a strong advocate of enhancing education to build a firm foundation for Mississippi’s future workforce. In his address, he highlighted the importance of teacher effectiveness and said he plans to propose a budget recommendation to level fund the Mississippi Adequate Education Program (MAEP) and fully fund the National Board Certified Teacher Program.
Additionally, he aims to guarantee educators are ready to teach once they finish college by increasing minimum entrance standards for training programs at universities. Further, he has tasked the Mississippi Department of Education to pilot a program in seven school districts to determine what qualities encompass an effective teacher. Upon completion of the program, Bryant plans to implement a pay-for-performance strategy and start “paying for quality, not longevity.”
Bryant also announced he will ask the state legislature to delegate $12 million in funding for education programs Teach for America and the Mississippi Teacher Corps. Lastly, he hammered the importance of finally passing a charter school act across the state.
The budget
Fiscal responsibility was highly emphasized in Bryant’s speech, as was the significance of the Smart Budget Act, which has failed to pass the last two years – he once again asked for the act to be passed. He also said an extensive review of the more than 150 state boards and commissions will be conducted to determine their effectiveness and whether elimination or consolidation is necessary. Moreover, Bryant noted that he plans to set aside 2 percent of the state’s revenue in the coming year to boost its rainy-day fund. 
In closing his speech, Bryant announced that Mississippi’s official website will be overhauled. Details were limited, but this could be a major opportunity for vendors in the website design field.  
Deltek analysts are in the midst of a complete review of newly-released budgets for all 50 states. Through April, they will be crunching numbers and detailing funding across all state agencies and verticals, all of which will be posted in our State Profiles and Industry Analysis products. Mississippi’s budget will be posted by month’s end, so stay tuned. Additionally, Deltek’s annual “State of the States” report, which breaks down all state of the state addresses and initiatives set forth, will be released in March. Be on the lookout for further analysis and an associated podcast within the next month.

Massachusetts FY 2013 Budget: Education Priorities for a Healthier Future

On Jan. 23, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick delivered his State of the Commonwealth address to a full house chamber. Governor Patrick spoke of the great accomplishments from the previous year while pressing that Massachusetts could do even better. With the right formula of spending and cuts, and the full support of the state senate and house, Massachusetts could improve in several fundamental areas over the next year. Fiscal year 2011 and 2012 budgets showed overall commonwealth spending was steady at $53 billion. Both years included budget cuts in order to remain afloat during the recession. Since FY 2011, fiscal conditions in Massachusetts have improved some, though not to pre-recession levels.

The budget from FY 2011 was significantly lower than recent state budgets; the current budget for FY 2013 represents a 0.39 percent increase from one year ago, but a 6.17 percent increase from two years ago. As the commonwealth moved to fifth place in the nation for job creation in the past two years, the added tax revenue and improving economic prospects more than likely enabled the governor to increase the overall budget.

The verticals that increased the most from FY 2012 were health care, public finance, higher education and transportation. Of these verticals, only higher education was among the largest gainers over the past three years. Another vertical that saw one of the more significant increases was health care, something that Governor Patrick mentioned repeatedly during his address. With increased health care costs throughout the country, it was almost inevitable that costs would rise in Massachusetts. In particular, Medicaid costs have soared, and with many of the new health care laws moving forward, there will be increased costs for records and technology.

IT spending has been rising over the past three fiscal years at a pretty consistent rate. From FY 2011 to 2012, IT spending increased 23.53 percent, and increased a similar 24.62 percent from FY 2012 to 2013. It is evident that the commonwealth is looking to increase its IT spending back to pre-recession levels. In FY 2010, for example, IT spending was $468 million, a total greater than both FY 2011 and FY 2012, but significantly less than FY 2013. The commonwealth has a lot more IT-based initiatives than in the past few years, including increases to individual department’s IT budgets and new line items that will enhance a variety of vertical areas. A deeper dive into the various vertical areas will paint a broader picture of the commonwealth’s IT spending for the upcoming fiscal year.

Analyst’s Take:

While on the surface it seems as though Governor Patrick may not be providing the budget necessary to uphold all of his stated priorities for the year to come, a more detailed analysis of vertical and IT spending revealed that many of those questions were covered in budget measures. For starters, the governor wants to invest heavily in health care, which only experienced an overall increase of 9.5 percent, but showed a nearly 50 percent increase in the IT budget. Health IT projects are booming across the country, and this is no different in Massachusetts, which has allocated $264 million to be spent on health IT.

Over the next fiscal year, health care, justice public safety, transportation and higher education should all be bright spots for funding and procurement. General government IT spending increased by $8 million, or nearly 8 percent, which could lead to a variety of re-competes for software and hardware systems. Massachusetts is often considered an innovator when it comes to being on the forefront of new technology; therefore, with the nearly 25 percent increase in IT spending budget, the commonwealth is poised to use that money on pioneering projects and new systems.

Subscribers have access to expanded analysis, including detailed budget data, here.


Breaking down President Obama's FY 2013 budget: Education

Educators and administrators are busy this week trying to recover from Valentine’s Day sugar buzzes in their classrooms, in addition to understanding how President Obama’s proposed FY 2013 budget will affect the future of the U.S. education system. While all of the public sector and public services are experiencing flux and reconsideration, education has found itself at the crossroads of critique and opportunity. Decades-old practices and policies have mired the evolution of classrooms and school days, the disfavor of No Child Left Behind has clogged state planning, and a major economic downturn has cut funding to schools. Sounds pretty bleak, or is it a tipping point that the Obama administration is seizing as an opportunity to revolutionize American education and economic development? The latter seems to be the case upon review of this administration’s decisions and policies thus far, and now with the release of the president’s proposed FY 2013 budget.

  • Total discretionary budget authority for the Department of Education is up 2 percent from FY 2011 and 2.5 percent from FY 2012.
  • Obama administration is emphasizing education investment as an economic development strategy toward not only emerging from the current economic downturn, but also reestablishing the U.S. as the global leader with a highly-educated and skilled workforce.
  • Competitive and evidence/results-based grants are increasingly becoming the norm to ensure that investment is going where it is needed and delivering on intended goals.
    • Race to the Top (RTT) - 22 percent increase in elementary and secondary education funding through competitive RTT grants.
    • Race to the Top - $1 billion in proposed RTT grant funding for higher education to achieve tuition affordability and alignment of standards with secondary education programs.
    • Investing in Innovation Fund (I3) - $150 million in funding; flat over the past three years; investment in local education agencies that deliver improved student achievement.
  • Teacher and student evaluation system adoption by schools will continue to be driven by student performance-based grants, continued funding of Excellent Instructional Teams (0 percent) and increased funding for Effective Teaching and Learning for a Complete Education (+40 percent).
  • Classroom modernization will continue to be driven by Title I ($14.5 billion) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) ($11.6 billion) funds toward the goal of improving outcomes and opportunities for disadvantaged and disabled students.
  • Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) emphasis and investment is gaining steam with $80 million from the Effective Teachers and Leaders State Grants, in addition to $30 million from the Department of Education and the National Science Foundation, each for recruiting new teachers and improving curriculum.
  • Higher education continues to feel the pinch with flat year-over-year funding, but a 3 percent decrease from FY 2011. Higher education will benefit from the proposed $1 billion in RTT grant funding, continued Pell Grant funding, and a slight increase in annual loan-per-student allowances.
Overall, the FY 2013 proposed budget does not have any major surprises or panaceas for U.S. education. What it does do is solidify the administration’s strategy for affecting change across the huge enterprise of primary/secondary and higher education. Vendors playing in the education field will see the most benefit by aligning with the priorities of measured success and calculated outcomes. This means following and being involved in the burgeoning competitive grant landscape and providing tools to educators and administrators that help measure, manage, and guide teacher and student performance to ultimate success against national goals. 

Breaking down President Obama's FY 2013 budget: Health and human services

While most people were occupied with last-minute Valentine’s Day preparations earlier this week, President Obama was busy announcing the FY 2013 budget. Rest assured that Deltek will be analyzing every inch of the data to uncover key trends and opportunities for our member network. This analysis will focus on funds trickling down to the states from the health and human services vertical. The Department of Health and Human Services’ (DHHS) Deputy Secretary Bill Corr spoke to the public on Feb. 13 and highlighted the health objectives the budget package addressed. DHHS plans to strengthen the nation’s health care, continuing on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010. Initiatives include health insurance exchange development, expanding community health programs, and increasing the health care workforce. Fighting fraud, waste, and abuse continues to be priority number 1 – the department collected almost $4 billion last year in improper payment recoveries. Corr also stated the FY 2013 budget and, specifically, Medicaid reform will help reduce the federal deficit by $366 billion over 10 years.
Following the same trend as last year, discretionary spending (Table 1, below) is set at $30 billion, which is down nearly 3.5 percent from FY 2011. Programs seeing major cuts include the public health and social services emergency fund and low-income home energy assistance (LIHEAP). The Distance Learning, Telemedicine, and Broadband Program saw a 68 percent increase to $42 million, following through on DHHS’ promise to strengthen health care, especially in rural areas. Mandatory spending (Table 2) also corresponded with DHHS goals and saw an 82 percent increase in funding for health insurance exchange establishment, totaling $868 million. Grant funding to states for Medicaid totals $269 billion. Stay tuned for FY 2014 numbers as eligibility enrollment is estimated to increase by nearly 16 million Americans. 

Table 1: Federal Grants to State and Local Governments, Discretionary (in millions of dollars)

 Click on image above for full-sized version


Table 2: Federal Grants to State and Local Governments, Mandatory  (in millions of dollars)

Click on image above for full-sized version

Other areas of the budget proposal include:

  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): TANF funding rises nominally to $17 billion in FY 2013.
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): The budget includes $7 billion in SNAP benefits, a 5 percent increase from FY 2011. Although states are seeing record food stamp numbers, the Department of Agriculture (USDA) transferred $400 million to support the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program for FY 2012.
  • WIC: Program funds increased by 14 percent to $7 billion, which includes $14 million for infrastructure funding and $30 million for management information systems.
  • Child Support Enforcement: Funding took a 7 percent dip to $3.8 billion. The budget request includes new investments of $305 million in FY 2012 and $2.4 billion over ten years for the Child Support and Fatherhood Initiative.
  • Child Care: Proposes $6 billion for child care, which includes $2.6 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant to supplement assistance for low-income families; and entitlement to states is $3.4 billion.
  • Child Welfare: Requests $7.2 billion for foster care and permanency services including adoption and guardianship assistance, foster care, and independent living.
Overall, the FY 2013 budget produced minimal funding changes for health and social services programs. Vendors playing in the health care field will see the most benefit in those pocket areas of increased funding, especially surrounding health insurance exchange implementation, Medicaid system reform, and eligibility redetermination. Those thinking that the ruling on the ACA later this summer will stem exchange development should think again. Many states are planning to continue developing systems whether the act holds or not. With the major push to cut down on federal spending and fight abuse in the human services arena, vendors need to keep reporting systems up to date with all required mandates and regulations. As health information exchanges start to be rolled out this year, it should be interesting to see which states will find success in transferring electronic medical records, and which will not. It seems that health care will continue to be the hot topic of FY 2012 and FY 2013.


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