Weekly Wire: September 27, 2019

Weekly Wire: September 27, 2019

The Staying Abreast: Weekly Wire e-Newsletter is a compendium of news, actions, and resources considered to be of interest or relevance to the breastfeeding field. The newsletter aims to support the USBC's mission "To drive collaborative efforts for policy and practices that create a landscape of breastfeeding support across the United States." Included items are submitted for consideration or identified by the USBC e-news team via extensive online review. Whenever possible, the newsletter utilizes language directly from the primary source of an item without additional analysis or edits. In some cases, the USBC offers additional perspectives through the "USBC Insights," media and partner highlights, and the "News & Views" section. Inclusion of an item in the e-newsletter does not imply endorsement or support by the USBC of an item or organization, unless specifically noted.

In this Issue:

  • USBC Updates​
    • Joint Letter Supporting CDC Funding for Breastfeeding Delivered
  • National News​
    • Fiscal Year 2020 Agriculture Appropriations, summarized from Congress
    • Continuing Resolution Passed in House and Senate, summarized from Congress
    • Final Overtime Rule Released, summarized from DOL
    • Data on Access to Paid Family Leave Released, summarized from BLS
    • Federal Employee Paid Leave Act Online Action Tool, summarized from MomsRising
    • Updated Well-Woman Chart, summarized from WPSI
  • State/Community News
    • Case Study on Paid Family Leave Messaging, summarized from CLASP/FV@W
    • Report on Breastfeeding Support Efforts in South Dakota, summarized from ASTHO
  • Collective Impact Connection​
    • Supporting Networks Webinar, summarized from LLC
    • Virtual Meetings Archived Webinar, summarized from Tamarack
    • Asset-Based Community Development Guide, summarized from Tamarack
  • Equity Lens​
    • REACH Award Launched, summarized from CDC
  • News & Views

  denotes a USBC member organization news item

USBC Updates

Joint Letter Supporting CDC Funding for Breastfeeding Delivered

USBC has delivered an organizational sign-on letter to the Chair and Ranking Member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, HHS, Education and Related Agencies. The joint letter urges that at least $10 million be directed in Fiscal Year 2020 for the CDC Hospitals Promoting Breastfeeding program. The House bill included $10 million for this program, however the Senate bill provides only $8 million. Both chambers of Congress still have to come together to negotiate a final bill. The joint letter was signed by 43 international, national, and tribal organizations and 67 regional, state, and local organizations.

USBC Insight: Individuals are encouraged to use USBC's online tool, "Ask Congress to Invest in Breastfeeding Families," to urge Members of Congress to support the funding priorities highlighted in the joint letter. Mobilizing funding is a top priority for ensuring the long-term success and sustainability of the First Food field and federal appropriations for breastfeeding comprise a considerable portion of available funding for breastfeeding support efforts. Read USBC's detailed analysis of the House and Senate bills. 

National News

Fiscal Year 2020 Agriculture Appropriations, summarized from Congress

The Senate Appropriations Committee has approved S.2522 - Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2020. The spending bill includes funding for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). The bill includes $6 billion in overall WIC funding, including $80 million in funding for the WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Program. 

USBC Insight: Overall funding for the WIC program is equal in the House and Senate versions of the Agriculture Appropriations bill. Both bills represent an increase in funding for the WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselor program from Fiscal Year 2019 levels, however the House version funds the Peer Counselor program at $90 million while the Senate version provides $80 million. The peer counselor program is authorized at $90 million, but has only been provided $60 million for nearly a decade. This funding level is not sufficient to allow all clinics to provide peer counselor services. Both chambers of Congress now have to come together to negotiate a final bill, so continued outreach to Members of Congress is needed.

The National WIC Association (NWA) has launched an organizational sign-on letter in support of the House funding level for WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselors. Individuals are encouraged to use NWA's online action tool "Support the WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Program" to contact their Senators and Representatives about this funding priority. Find additional details in the September 23 Weekly WIC Policy Update.

Continuing Resolution Passed in House and Senate, summarized from Congress

The House and Senate have passed H.R.4378 - Continuing Appropriations Act, 2020, and Health Extenders Act of 2019. This bill provides FY2020 continuing appropriations to federal agencies through November 21, 2019. It is known as a continuing resolution (CR) and prevents a government shutdown that would otherwise occur when FY2020 begins on October 1, if the 12 regular appropriations bills that fund the federal government for FY2020 have not been enacted. Learn more about the status of appropriations bills with the Congressional Research Service "Appropriations Status Table: FY2020." Read the press release

Final Overtime Rule Released, summarized from DOL

The U.S. Department of Labor has released the Final Overtime Rule, making 1.3 million American workers newly eligible for overtime pay. The final rule updates the earnings thresholds necessary to exempt executive, administrative and professional employees from the Fair Labor Standards Act's (FLSA) minimum wage and overtime pay requirements, and allows employers to count a portion of certain bonuses/commissions towards meeting the salary level. The rule raises the standard salary level from the currently enforced level of $455 per week to $684 per week (equivalent to $35,568 per year for a full-year worker). The new thresholds account for growth in employee earnings since the thresholds were last updated in 2004. The final rule will be effective on January 1, 2020. Read the press release.

USBC Insight: By increasing the number of employees who are considered eligible for overtime (nonexempt) under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the final rule also expands the right to workplace accommodations for breastfeeding under the federal "Break Time for Nursing Mothers" law. DOL previously issued a Final Rule updating overtime regulations in 2016 which would have raised the standard salary to $47,476. Just before it went into effect, however, a federal judge in Texas granted a preliminary injunction suspending its implementation and the court ultimately held that the Final Rule was invalid. Find more information on the impact of overtime on breastfeeding employees in the USBC's Public Comments on the Department of Labor Proposed Overtime Rule.

Data on Access to Paid Family Leave Released, summarized from BLS

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has published a report titled "National Compensation Survey: Employee Benefits in the United States, March 2019." The National Compensation Survey provides comprehensive measures of compensation cost levels and trends and provides benefits incidence estimates on the percentage of workers with access to and participating in employer-provided benefit plans. The report found that 19% of all working people in the U.S. have access to employer-provided paid family leave, an increase of two percentage points from last year. Partner highlights include:

 Federal Employee Paid Leave Act Online Action Tool, summarized from MomsRising

MomsRising has launched an online action tool titled "Tell Congress: Stand up for paid leave for federal workers!" Individuals may use the tool to contact their Members of Congress in support of keeping the Federal Employee Paid Leave Act provision in the National Defense Authorization Act conference agreement. FEPLA would extend 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave to more than two million civilian federal employees. 

USBC Insight: This week, the Senate rejected the motion sponsored by Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) to instruct the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) Conference Committee to consider the Federal Employee Paid Leave Act (FEPLA). The measure was included in the House-passed defense reauthorization legislation but excluded from the Senate's version of the bill. Partner highlights include:

Updated Well-Woman Chart, summarized from WPSI

The Women's Preventive Services Institute has published "Recommendations for Well-Woman Care – A Well-Woman Chart." The chart provides a framework for incorporating preventive health services for women into clinical practice. It outlines preventive services recommended by WPSI, U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, and Bright Futures based on age, health status, and risk factors, including breastfeeding counseling, services, and supplies. WPSI has also published a social media tool kit with sample messages and graphics to promote the new well-woman chart.

State/Community News

Case Study on Paid Family Leave Messaging, summarized from CLASP/FV@W

The Center for Law and Social Policy and Family Values @ Work have published a brief titled "Messaging Paid Family and Medical Leave to Businesses: A Washington Case Study—Values-Based Messaging Works with Employers." The brief is a case study on what Washington learned from developing and implementing a Paid Family and Medical Leave program, outlining promising outreach and engagement practices with employers. It also underscores how Paid Family and Medical Leave programs benefit both employers and their employees. The brief provides future recommendations for state administrators, legislators, and advocates to use as they navigate the execution of Paid Family and Medical Leave outreach and education.

Report on Breastfeeding Support Efforts in South Dakota, summarized from ASTHO

The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials has published a report titled "Improving Breastfeeding in South Dakota: Helping Businesses Support Customers and Employees." Published as part of ASTHO's state success story series, the report summarizes steps South Dakota, a participant in ASTHO's first breastfeeding learning community, took to support breastfeeding-friendly worksites to achieve increased breastfeeding duration. It also identifies barriers that South Dakota's breastfeeding team encountered and next steps for the project.

Collective Impact Connection

Supporting Networks Webinar, summarized from LLC

Join the Leadership Learning Community on Wednesday, October 2, from 1-2 p.m. ET for a webinar titled "Self-Organizing: The Secret Sauce of Networks and How to Support It." Presenters will share common obstacles to self-organizing and successful strategies to help activate attendees' networks.

Virtual Meetings Archived Webinar, summarized from Tamarack

The Tamarack Institute has published the archived version of their webinar "Hosting Great Virtual Meetings." In the webinar, the presenter highlighted helpful tools and online platforms that she relies on to ensure the virtual meetings she facilitates foster connection, create shared learning and generate results. 

Asset-Based Community Development Guide, summarized from Tamarack

The Tamarack Institute has released a guide titled "Asset-Based Community Development at a Glance." The guide defines the principles of Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD), essential elements for ABCD, how it differs from other community development methods, and additional ABCD resources.

Equity Lens

REACH Award Launched, summarized from CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has announced the launch of the Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) Lark Galloway-Gilliam Nomination for Advancing Health Equity Award (REACH Lark Award). The REACH Lark Award honors extraordinary individuals, organizations, or community coalitions associated with the REACH program that have made significant advances in the science and/or practice of improving health equity and the elimination of health disparities at the national, state, or local levels. The challenge will accept nominations online from Sunday, December 1, 2019 through Tuesday, January 28, 2020.

News & Views

AL.com: "Moms, advocates: Alabama should do more to allow breastfeeding"

BMSG blog: "Giving effective public testimony to support health equity: 9 tips for advocates"

Essence: "Paid Leave is a Necessity"

Military.com "New Tricare Breastfeeding Benefits Lead to Reimbursement Fiascos"

New York Times: "How to Tell Your Boss You're Pregnant"

UT Health News: "Study shows Texas leads in worksite lactation support initiatives"

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