capital building | public policy
Happy New Legislative Year!

We wanted to update our members and supporters on our priorities when it comes to public policy this year.

Caricature of Bob Reeg

By Bob Reeg, MPA, CVA

January 23, 2020

The new year provides an occasion for Healthy Teen Network to update our members and supporters on the status of (y)our federal public policy priorities.

January 2020 brings us into the second year of a two-year legislative session of the 116th Congress. Before recessing in late December 2019, Congress passed and the President signed into law two appropriations measures directing federal discretionary spending for federal fiscal year (FY) 2020.

The new year provides an occasion for Healthy Teen Network to update our members and supporters on the status of (y)our federal public policy priorities.

We will continue to advocate for PREP reauthorization, an increase in funding for DASH, and maintenance of funding through TPPP at a level at least sufficient to allow current grantees to complete their projects.

January 2020 brings us into the second year of a two-year legislative session of the 116th Congress. Before recessing in late December 2019, Congress passed and the President signed into law two appropriations measures directing federal discretionary spending for federal fiscal year (FY) 2020.

Included in the legislation is $101 million for continuation of the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program (TPPP) and $6.8 million for TPPP evaluation. The legislation preserves statutory language from the program’s inception that TPPP funds be spent on projects that are medically accurate and age appropriate. The legislation also preserves the distribution of TPPP funds between projects to replicate evidence-based interventions and projects to research and demonstrate innovative approaches. Healthy Teen Network expects the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Population Affairs (OPA), which now administers TPPP, to issue funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) for the TPPP funds in coming weeks. Check our weekly egram newsletter for notification of these announcements.

Also included in the legislation is $33.1 million for continuation of the programs and activities of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH). This is a vital source of funding for state and local educational agencies to improve their sexual health education and school climates, as well as CDC’s administration of the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS).

The FY 2020 appropriations law also contained a short-term extension of the Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) through May 22, 2020. This short-term extension ensures the program can continue to operate without disruption while Congress decides the period of a hoped-for multi-year reauthorization.

Noteworthy, and unfortunate, Congress did not (yet!) reauthorize the Pregnancy Assistance Fund, (PAF) which expired September 30, 2019. (States and Tribal entities with current grants have award periods that continue through June 30, 2020.)

We are not deterred! Healthy Teen Network will be concentrating its 2020 public policy advocacy on PAF reauthorization.

In addition, we will continue to advocate for PREP reauthorization, an increase in funding for DASH, and maintenance of funding through TPPP at a level at least sufficient to allow current grantees to complete their projects.

Stay tuned to our egram or special alerts for ways that you can help us advance (y)our federal public policy priorities in this happy new legislative year.

Bob Reeg, MPA, CVA, is a Program Development and Public Policy Consultant with Healthy Teen Network. With 30 years’ experience in public policy advocacy, he is always ready to give the rundown on what’s happening—or what’s not—on Capitol Hill. Read more about Bob