Legislation Proposed to Restore FEMA to Cabinet-Level Status

New York Senator Hillary Clinton has introduced legislation to restore the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to independent status as it was in the Clinton Administration.

“FEMA was in charge,” said the senator. “I appreciate the great outpouring of support that has come from every corner of New York (regarding hurricane victims). I am particularly impressed and grateful for Abe Lackman from the Independent College Association and our wonderful chancellor from Syracuse University, Nancy Cantor.”

You can make a contribution to hurricane relief to Friends of Hillary at hillaryclinton.com.

Hillary visited the American Red Cross’ New York Headquarters on Aug. 30th to highlight efforts that are assisting the victims of the hurricane and to encourage New Yorkers to contribute towards efforts that are underway.

The senator supports legislation that would require 20 percent of the nation’s electricity to be produced from renewable sources by increased efficiency standards for appliances.

The senator championed efforts to provide an emergency infusion of $100 million for AmeriCorps in 2003 which enables students to earn tuition through community service. Hillary has worked for 35 years on behalf of children and families and she continues the work today in the senate, according to her website, hillaryclinton.com.

On May 10th Hillary and Olympia Snow (ME) introduced the Kinship Caregiver Support Act which provides support for families in which children are being raised by relatives other than their parents. In introducing the legislation the senator honored the grandparents and other relatives who take on the responsibilities of caring for children despite the financial burden and other challenges. The Act provides the families with guidance in learning how to obtain health care for the children in their home, apply for housing assistance, locate childcare, enroll children in school, and gain other services. The legislation also makes it possible for grandparents and other relatives to care for children who would otherwise be put in foster care. The bill will also require states to notify grandparents and other close relatives when children enter the foster care system.

Research has shown that one of the greatest challenges kinship caregivers face in raising their children is not getting accurate information about the services available in their communities. A proposed Kinship Navigator Program which would be part of the legislation if passed, would, among other things, create kinship care ombudsman who will actively intervene with service providers to help kinship caregivers get the services they need. A Subsidized Guardianship program provision would allow kin to serve as permanent legal guardians for children who would otherwise be in foster care to have the option of using the states’ Title IV-E funds to provide payments to grandparents and other relatives who have assumed legal guardianship waivers through Health and Human Services’ (HHS) project and allow them to be a cost-neutral, effective way to keep families together.

The senator also serves on the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, the Environment and Public Works Committee, and the Special Committee on Aging. She continues to work to increase access to health care and from 1993-2001 led efforts to make adoption easier and increase support for families in the foster care system, funding for breast cancer research, treatment for children’s vaccinations, and to make education and economic opportunity available for women and girls.

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