Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

Promises about States on The Obameter

Expand eligibility for State Children's Health Insurance Fund (SCHIP)

"Expand eligibility for the Medicaid and SCHIP programs and ensure that these programs continue to serve their critical safety net function."

Appoint federal-level coordinator to oversee all federal autism efforts

"They will appoint a Federal ASD Coordinator to oversee federal ASD research and federal efforts to improve awareness of ASD and improve the training of medical professionals to identify and treat ASD. By establishing one top-level point person to coordinate ASD efforts in the White House, they will ensure that ASD receives the recognition and priority it deserves in the federal government. The Federal ASD Coordinator will also be tasked with eliminating bureaucratic obstacles that may be delaying implementation of important ASD measures and ensuring that all federal ASD dollars are being spent in a manner that prioritizes results. The Coordinator will work with state task forces on ASD to ensure effective communication and collaboration among federal, state, and local agencies."

Fully fund the Combating Autism Act and Federal Autism Research Initiatives

"President Obama will fully fund the Combating Autism Act, which provides nearly $1 billion in autism-related funding over 5 years, and work with Congress, parents and ASD experts to determine how to further improve federal and state programs."

Direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services to conduct a study of federal cancer initiatives

"As president, Barack Obama will immediately direct his Secretary of Health and Human Services, in collaboration with agency officials, academic researchers, cancer survivors and advocates for people with cancer, and state public health officials, to comprehensively examine the various cancer-related efforts of federal agencies, and provide recommendations to eliminate barriers to effective coordination across federal agencies and between the federal government and other stakeholders."

Fully fund the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

"Barack Obama has been a strong and consistent advocate for fully funding the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Congress promised to shoulder 40 percent of each state's "excess cost" of educating children with disabilities, but it has never lived up to this obligation. Currently, the federal government provides less than half of the promised funding (17 percent)."

Invest $10 billion per year in early intervention educational and developmental programs

"Barack Obama and Joe Biden will invest $10 billion per year in early intervention educational and developmental programs for children between zero and five. Their plan will help expand Early Head Start to serve more children with disabilities, and will spur states, through programs like Early Learning Challenge Grants, to expand programs for children with disabilities, such as IDEA Part C, and integrate these programs with other early childhood programs."

Provide a $1.5 billion fund to help states launch programs for paid family and medical leave

"As president, Barack Obama and Joe Biden will initiate a 50-state strategy to encourage all of the states to adopt paid-leave systems (as part of the Family and Medical Leave Act). Barack Obama and Joe Biden will provide a $1.5 billion fund to assist states with start-up costs and to help states offset the costs for employees and employers. Obama's Department of Labor will also provide technical information to the states on how to craft paid-leave programs consistent with their local needs."

Issue a "best practices" report for states on reducing domestic violence

"His administration will also issue a joint report on 'best practices' across agencies and disseminate that information to the states."

Encourage water-conservation efforts in the West

Will "support federal policies to encourage voluntary water banks, wastewater treatment, and other market-based conservation measures" to address the water shortage in western states.

Urge states to treat same-sex couples with full equality in their family and adoption laws

As president, "will use the bully pulpit to urge states to treat same-sex couples with full equality in their family and adoption laws."

Require states to provide incentives for utilities to reduce energy consumption

"Will 'flip' incentives to utility companies by: requiring states to conduct proceedings to implement incentive changes; and offering them targeted technical assistance. These measures will benefit utilities for improving energy efficiency, rather than just from supporting higher energy consumption. This 'regulatory equity' starts with the decoupling of profits from increased energy usage, which will incentivize utilities to partner with consumers and the federal and state governments to reduce monthly energy bills for families and businesses. The federal government under an Obama administration will play an important and positive role in flipping the profit model for the utility sector so that shareholder profit is based on reliability and performance as opposed to total production."

Upgrade nation's infrastructure through new partnership with state and local government

"Will enter into a new partnership with state and local civic, political, and business leaders to enact a truly national infrastructure policy that recognizes that we must upgrade our infrastructure to meet the demands of a growing population, a changing economy, and our short and long-term energy challenges."

Invest in public transportation

"Will re-commit federal resources to public mass transportation projects across the country. Obama and Biden will work with state and local governments across the country on efforts to create new, effective public transportation systems and modernize our aging urban public transit infrastructure."

Help states and localities address sprawl

"Will work to provide states and local governments with the resources they need to address sprawl and create more livable communities."

Provide grants to encourage energy-efficient building codes

"Will create a competitive grant program to award those states and localities that take the first steps in implementing new building codes that prioritize energy efficiency, and provide a federal match for those states with leading-edge public benefits funds that support energy efficiency retrofits of existing buildings."