Congress Approves FY 2013 Continuing Resolution
Immediately prior to adjourning for general election campaigning, Congress approved a six-month spending bill that will keep the government running when the current fiscal year ends on September 30.
The continuing resolution (CR) sets spending levels until March 27, 2013 at the $1.047 trillion level agreed upon in the Budget Control Act (BCA), the deal reached last summer to raise the debt ceiling. The spending cap for fiscal year (FY) 2013 is slightly higher than FY 2012 levels, which will boost programs by .621 percent across the board and will allow $1.992 billion in additional funding to go to various projects and disaster relief.
The agreement marks a compromise between the House and the Senate, which based their individual spending bills on wildly differing top line levels. Conservative members of the House had been pushing the budget resolution introduced by Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) - the Republican vice presidential candidate - that would have lowered overall spending for FY13 by $19 billion. On the other hand, the Senate supported the top line numbers agreed upon in the BCA. In what seemed like a contradictory vote, the CR passed handily in the House, but passed by a narrower margin in the Senate. President Obama signed the continuing resolution.
Lame Duck Congress Returns in November
Both the House and Senate will return to Washington, DC the week of November 12. With many pressing issues to tackle after the election, it is currently unclear how long the lame duck Congress will be in session.
Candidate Information Available on Government Affairs Action Center
$30.2 Million in Grants for Nursing Workforce Development
Before going to the voting booth on November 6, make sure you know each candidate's position. The NLN's Government Affairs Action Center
contains a comprehensive resource specifically designed to meet all your election 2012 needs whether they are federal, state, or local. From detailed candidate bios to voter registration services, from information about specific ballot initiatives to help in locating polling sites, all this can be found under the "Elections & Candidates"
tab on the homepage of the Government Affairs Action Center
The features include:
- ZIP code and address-to-district matching for a list of congressional, statewide, and state legislature candidates
- Candidate biographical and contact information
- Candidate position statements
- Links to candidate meet-ups
- Statewide ballot initiative information
- Voter guide information including key dates and deadlines, ID needed at the polls, and links to voting machine descriptions and polling locations
- Voter registration forms
Last month the US Department of Health and Human Services announced $30.2 million in grants to support nursing workforce development
. The bulk of the money - $23.3 million - went to 112 nursing schools to increase the number of qualified nurse faculty in the United States. This program allows nursing schools to offer to eligible students partial loan forgiveness when they graduate in return for working as full-time nursing faculty for a prescribed period. Awards from the prior academic year supported more than 1,550 master's and doctoral students.
Another $4.6 million went to 14 nursing schools to increase nursing education opportunities for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, including racial and ethnic minorities that are underrepresented among RNs. Grant activities will include academic support, financial assistance, and student mentoring. Awards from the prior academic year supported more than 10,600 students.
The final $2.3 million funds 81 nurse anesthetist education programs to provide traineeships to licensed RN enrolled as full-time students in master's or doctoral nurse anesthetist programs. Traineeships will pay all or part of the costs of tuition, books, fees, and reasonable living expenses of the individual during the period of the traineeship.
Information about the grant recipients is available at www.hrsa.gov/about/news/
FROM THE STATES . . .
Missouri Governor Announces Grants for Nursing Education
On September 20, 2012, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon (D) announced nearly $850,000 in grants to help students across the state who are seeking an education in nursing with $150,000 used to "fund scholarships to nine doctoral students pursuing careers in nursing." "Employers in Missouri need more nurses," Nixon said, adding that the funds will not only be good for "our health care system, but for our economy."
The grants are part of Nixon's 'Caring for Missourians' initiative, that he launched in 2009 to increase the number of nurses, physicians, and other health professionals being educated by Missouri institutions. The Missouri State Board of Nursing awards the grants to students through a competitive application process. The money can be used to hire new faculty, purchase new equipment, and expand scholarships.