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Here's what we stand for

Community Economic Opportunity Act

H.R.1655, the Community Economic Opportunity Act, reauthorizes the Community Services Block Grant. Unfortunately, H.R. 1655 was not reauthorized by the end of 2016. The National Community Action Foundation (NCAF) will lead the effort in reauthorizing the Community Economic Opportunity Act again for 2017. CAAP will continue to strongly support NCAF's efforts to reauthorize CSBG.

Community Economic Opportunity Act of 2015

• Bill Number: H.R. 1655
• Date Introduced: March 26, 2015
• Status: Referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce
• Sponsor: Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick (R-PA-8)
• List of PA Cosponsors: Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-PA-5); Rep. Charles Dent (R-PA-15); Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA-11); Rep. Ryan Costello (R-PA-6); Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-PA-17); Rep. Tom Marino (R-PA-10); Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA-3); Rep. Robert Brady (D-PA-1); Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA-18). CLICK HERE for a full list of Cosponsors.

Why Community Action and Community Service Block Grant?

• Agencies focus on long-term independence.
• 90% of CSBG funding is placed under local direction - Local problems require local solutions with all community stakeholders.
• Collaboration with local partners prevents duplication.
• Leveraging private funds maximizes the effects of CSBG.
• The Community Action Network is governed by stringent organizational standards.

Why H.R.1655?

Localization and Privatization

• The bill establishes a preference for private non-profit local agencies as opposed to local governments in the future designations of sub grantees by the state.
• The bill prevents re-direction of CSBG funds. Currently, states can transfer grants to local governments seeking replacements for other federal and state funds that have been eliminated.
• Some states have required Community Action Agencies to assume categorical human services roles and duplicate shrinking county agencies instead of building local unique projects and interventions.

Outcomes

• The proposed bill streamlines the process of responding to poor local performance when necessary by tightening the process and timetable for corrective action by the agencies.
• Rigorous performance measurements and management systems are implemented at all three levels: local, state and federal.
• U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is required to review and approve state plans and operations.

Accountability

• The bill requires all CSBG partners to demonstrate professional competence in managing the organization and its grants.
• The bill requires federal and state administrators to have the knowledge, skills and ability to review the operations of private non-profit corporations and to efficiently manage federal funds.
• The bill strengthens the tripartite board by creating term limits for officers, requiring official designees to vote and requiring the adoption of a conflict of interest policy.

Innovation

• The proposed bill creates an already-paid for innovation fund to encourage efficient, cutting-edge solutions to poverty alleviation.
• The bill emphasizes local leaders' authority to pursue emerging opportunities.
• This bill funds innovative program experiments.

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