On December 13, the Senate cleared, by voice vote, legislation (H.R. 2873) that would renew the Promoting Safe and Stable Families Program for four years, sending it to the President. The House passed the bill on November 13 (see The Source, 11/16/01, p. 2).
Designed to assist states in providing services for abused and neglected children, the program expired on September 30, the end of the fiscal year. The bill authorized $305 million annually in mandatory funding and an additional $200 million in discretionary spending for the program in FY2002 through FY2006. The program will be expanded to include an initiative to strengthen parental relationships and promote healthy marriages.
Also included is a safe haven provision, based on legislation (H.R. 2018) by Rep. Melissa Hart (R-PA), that would allow states to use funds to encourage mothers who do not want to keep their babies to leave them in a safe place such as a hospital or a police station.