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CNM Announces Membership Partnership with Tennessee Management Support Organizations

Nashville’s Center for Nonprofit Management (CNM) announced today a reciprocal partnership with three Tennessee-based nonprofit training organizations (NTO) – Alliance for Better Nonprofits (Knoxville), Momentum Nonprofit Partners (Memphis) and Venture Forward (Chattanooga) – to expand access to skills development for nonprofit professionals while building capacity for nonprofit organizationsMembers of the four NTOs can now take advantage of learning opportunities at the member rate, as pre-determined by the partnering organizations.

Through this commitment to partnering with nonprofit training organizations across Tennessee, CNM wants to increase its members’ knowledge base and expand learning networks across city limits. Nonprofit training organizations around the nation are making strides to remove barriers and address systemic inequities through intentional learning models such as
cohort-based learning and innovative program design.

“Developing relationships with neighboring nonprofit training organizations is important for empowering professionals and organizations to amplify impact,” said Momentum Nonprofit Partners CEO Kevin Dean. “Our new reciprocal agreement partners offer a variety of workshops and special engagement opportunities very different than what we provide to our members in Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee; for instance, the Center for Nonprofit Management offers a course this fall Implementing Equity Frameworks: Creating Systemic Change at a rate of $215 for nonmembers. However, our members can access the training at the member rate of $130 – a 40% discount. And this is the type of intentional training that moves progress forward which we look forward to our membership benefiting.”

The reciprocal agreement is an additional step toward a more equitable Tennessee through its provision of learning access to members of the partnering organizations, irrespective of their state of residence. Members of Alliance for Better Nonprofits; Center for Nonprofit Management; Momentum Nonprofit Partners and Venture Forward now receive discounted access to conferences, e-learning materials, and training opportunities such as single-day offerings; multi-day sessions; as well as online learning communities.

“We are absolutely thrilled to begin such a powerful partnership that speaks to the value of supporting our members that are solving complex community issues,” said CNM’s President and CEO Tari Hughes. “Cost should not be a barrier to building skills that drive impact and now with the opportunity to train in Chattanooga, Knoxville and Memphis, our members benefit from a variety of training at a fraction of the cost. This reciprocal partnership is one of many initiatives that we foresee helping our members expand their impact through replicable and innovative solutions.”

“Building impactful relationships is at the foundation of our work here at Alliance for Better Nonprofits and to enter into a reciprocal partnership that will expand how our members hone their skills is a pivotal moment for us all,” says Alliance for Better Nonprofits President Jerry Askew. “Our primary goal is to empower organizations to do their most efficient and impactful work. Now with access to training and additional learning resources from organizations that mirror our journey, professionals and organizations can broaden their capacity for impact.”

Members of the partnering organizations can visit www.cnm.org to find complete details and learn how to redeem the standard member rate for membership partner learning opportunities.

“The shift in how nonprofit professionals approach their work has happened and we want to meet them where they are and how they want to excel,” says Venture Forward Executive Director Laura McCann. ”The nonprofit professionals and organizations we serve thrive in learning environments that offer trailblazing solutions. Forging this reciprocal agreement across three cities provides boundless opportunities for them to do so and that is our priority here at Venture Forward.”

About Alliance for Better Nonprofits

Alliance for Better Nonprofits (ABN) serves nonprofits throughout the 25 counties of upper East Tennessee by building their capacity to be more efficient and effective in fulfilling their missions and serving their communities. At the same time, ABN serves as a catalyst for collaboration aimed at reducing duplication and increasing cooperation among nonprofits seeking to address community issues.

About Center for Nonprofit Management

Center for Nonprofit Management amplifies the impact of nonprofits and their partners by building nonprofit capacity through consulting services, educational workshops and trainings, collective impact programming, networking opportunities, special events, member resources, and more.

About Momentum Nonprofit Partners

Momentum Nonprofit Partners (MNP) acknowledges that a talented workforce is key for nonprofits to thrive while making an impact. In their work with nonprofit professionals and organizations in Arkansas, Tennessee and Mississippi, MNP collaborates to advance the sector toward equitable, measurable, and lasting change through skill building opportunities that span professional levels and function: emerging and senior leaders, finance and marketing, data management and program design; as well as public policy and advocacy.

About Venture Forward

Venture Forward inspires and sparks positive momentum for nonprofits and the community by strengthening organizations and the community through sharing information, providing training and professional development and encouraging collaboration. Venture Forward serves nonprofit staff, volunteers and boards seeking to engage with the sector and understand the need for nonprofits to optimize time and resources.

Consultant Spotlight: Amy Campbell, Program Evaluation Expert with Elevate Consulting

Elevate has gotten the opportunity to see the wide variety of organizations Nashville has to offer working with organizations of different sizes, different sectors and different spaces in the community. CNM has provided access to some smaller organizations that do not always have full resources for consulting through the Nonprofit Excellence Funds (NEF). Amy highlights this opportunity as being “some of the most meaningful work, getting to work with organizations who are really on the ground and embedded in those communities that they’re serving.” Elevate helps these clients to build evaluation infrastructure to reach their stated end goal, whether that be an ability to communicate their impact, to access funding, or for internal review.

Elevate’s diverse range of clients has made equity a central priority for the team, and Amy valued the work that CNM is doing to increase awareness and knowledge of utilizing an equity lens. Amy and Jessica Gibbons-Benton recently presented to CNM’s Collective Impact Learning Community about data collection using an equity lens. To dive deeper into this topic of equitable evaluation, sign up for Elevate’s next CNM workshop. Over the past couple years at CNM, Amy has started to see how other people are adapting their work around equity and it has been beneficial in giving Elevate and the community some sense of urgency around the issue. Amy highlights that this focus does not only benefit CNM’s consultants, but also CNM’s nonprofit clients and the community at large.

With this focus on benefitting the community at large, Elevate has seen CNM help them in getting a “better check on the pulse on what people need in Nashville.” This allows Elevate to serve the needs of the community rather than providing what they think the community needs. Elevate is plugged into many of CNM’s offerings including workshops, consulting, and the Collective Impact Learning Community. Being a part of these different areas has allowed Elevate to adapt and be responsive to the needs of the community.

In addition to addressing community need, Amy championed the network of expert consultants that CNM has. Being connected to other consultants provides a space for to problem solve, talk, and “create this shared language around things that really matter.” Building these relationships allows CNM consultants to be collaborative. Amy highlights that instead of being “in our own little evaluation game,” the relationships that she’s built at CNM have allowed Elevate to step outside their silo. Being connected to both CNM’s community and the Nashville community at large has contributed to Elevate’s growth and success. Elevate will continue to be an asset to CNM’s team for all evaluation needs.

Why were you interested in joining CNM’s consulting team?

At Elevate our core mission is working with nonprofits to improve their evaluation capacity, that’s really what we’re all about, how can we really work with nonprofits to advance, improve their skills and think about how they can better collect data but also learn from the data they’re collecting. And we knew that CNM is the primary resource for nonprofits in Nashville and so when we started talking about how to grow elevate and work to meet that mission we knew we had to work with CNM, that’s the only option. So getting plugged in with CNM and getting involved in multiple ways is really one of our key places we’re able to establish ourselves as a resource and work with CNM to achieve our mission.

What has been one of your highlights of working with a CNM client and why?

Not exactly a specific client, but its more about the kinds of clients we get to work with at CNM. So we work with a lot of different organizations across Nashville, different sizes and different types (nonprofit, govt.), different kind of spaces. But through CNM we’ve really gotten to work with a lot of smaller organizations because of the access to the education funds. These smaller organizations might not have the resources like those bigger ones that have access to those dollars and they can use those to access consulting resources, that’s allowed us to work with organizations we may or may not have gotten to work with otherwise. And for us that’s really some of the most meaningful work, getting to work with organizations who are really on the ground and embedded in those communities that they’re serving. There doing excellent work and it gives us the opportunity to step in and help them kind of build infrastructure that helps them better communicate their impact or help them access funding or whatever their end goal is that they’re coming to evaluation for.

How have you seen yourself grow during your time as a CNM consultant?

We started consulting with CNM pretty early in Elevate’s life so we’ve grown exponentially since we’ve been able to start consulting at CNM and part of that I think is being able to be involved in a lot of CNMs programming. We’re doing workshops and we’re doing consulting and we are involved in the Collective Impact work. We’re kind of got our hands in all the different places. Not only has that allowed us to establish credibility and network and share what we’re doing but we’ve also been able to have a better check on the pulse on what people need in Nashville because we’re involved in all the different things and we’re able to say we met this person at a workshop at they really talked about this need and how can we align ourselves to meet that need. We’ve been able to be plugged in to all the different spaces and be responsive to that and adapt and build Elevate around what people actually need in the community rather than what we think they need.

How has being a part of CNM’s team differed from other consulting experiences?

The biggest thing is getting to work with other smaller organizations but also being connected to other consultants. The opportunity that CNM provides to come together in a room where we don’t have to worry about paying, we just did the collective impact intensive, and sit and talk with other consultants and create this shared language around things that really matter and build those relationships with other consultants so that we can make referrals if we need to or collaborate on certain projects. That I think has been one of the biggest benefits of working with CNM and it’s different because otherwise we’re hanging out in our silo, in our little evaluation game by itself.

What insight have you gained during your time as a CNM consultant?

I think the biggest thing is conversations we’re starting to have around equity. And this is a big priority for elevate and issues around equity were already at the forefront of our work but being able to talk about that and see how other consultants are thinking about it and obviously CNM is a leader in the community and being able to see how CNM is thinking about it and how other people are adapting their work around equity has been so beneficial to us. It’s given us some urgency around it to force us to have those conversations in more detail and I think that benefits not only the consultants and the people who are working with CNM but also nonprofits and obviously the community at large. That was just a huge benefit of CNM driving that conversation and making that a priority so that is probably the biggest thing. The other thing that comes up a little bit is the credibility that CNM has and the relationships in the community being able to have CNM on our side we can say we’re CNM consultants and that carries weight in the community. Not necessarily something we’ve gained but it’s certainly helped us trying to grow in scale.

To learn more about Elevate consulting, see their website here or sign up for Elevate’s next CNM workshop.

Interested in working with Elevate consulting or another one of CNM’s expert team? Check out more information on beginning a consulting engagement and familiarize yourself with our list of experts.

Have further questions or interested in becoming a CNM consultant? Email consulting@cnm.org.

Legislative Update May 6, 2019

 

SB28/HB37

 

 

Creates the Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia advisory council.

 

Sponsors: Sen. Crowe, Rusty , Rep. Whitson, Sam
Summary: Creates the state Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia advisory council and specifies membership of council and terms of members. Specifies that the council is attached to the commission on aging and disability for administrative purposes. Requires the council to develop and submit an Alzheimer’s disease state plan to the general assembly that identifies barriers to Alzheimer’s disease care, analyzes service utilization data, and includes recommendations, metrics, and best practices to address gaps in service no later than January 15, 2020.
Senate Status: 04/30/19 – Senate concurred in House amendment 3.
House Status: 04/30/19 – House passed with amendment 3.
Executive Status: 05/03/19 – Sent to governor.

This bill has not yet been signed by the Governor and put into public chapter form. Stay tuned. Our final legislative update will include a link to the public chapter.

 

SB199/HB249

 

 

Creates elder abuse task force.

 

Sponsors: Sen. Briggs, Richard , Rep. Carr, Dale
Summary: Creates elder abuse task force charged with examining the current state of financial elder abuse, determining its economic and human impact, and developing recommendations to address problems associated with financial exploitation of the elderly. The task force will consist of 12 members, appointed by the health and financial commissioners, district attorney, and TBI, as well as representatives from health and banking associations. The task force will submit its findings and recommendations to the governor and the general assembly no later than January 15, 2021.
Senate Status: 03/18/19 – Senate passed.
House Status: 03/14/19 – House passed with amendment 1.
Executive Status: 04/15/19 – Enacted as Public Chapter 0135 effective April 9, 2019. See this link for final language.http://publications.tnsosfiles.com/acts/111/pub/pc0135.pdf
 

SB232/HB57

 

 

Registration exemptions for charitable organizations.

 

Sponsors: Sen. Lundberg, Jon , Rep. Hulsey, Bud
Summary: Increases from over $30,000 to over $50,000 the amount of gross contributions that must be raised or received from the public by a charitable organization in order to trigger registration and reporting requirements with the secretary of state.
Senate Status: 03/18/19 – Senate passed.
House Status: 03/14/19 – House passed.
Executive Status: 04/15/19 – Enacted as Public Chapter 0132 effective July 1, 2019.See this link for final language. http://publications.tnsosfiles.com/acts/111/pub/pc0132.pdf
 

SB408/HB280

 

 

Tax exemptions for certain non-profits.

 

Sponsors: Sen. Stevens, John , Rep. Cepicky, Scott
Summary: Authorizes property tax exemption for certain nonprofit entities that occupy and use real property owned by another tax-exempt institution, including property occupied by an exempt institution that originated as part of a single exempt institution and continues to use the property for the same purpose or property occupied and actually used by the U.S. government, the state, or any agency or political subdivision of the state. Makes other revisions related to property tax exemptions for nonprofit entities.

This bill has not yet been signed by the Governor and put into public chapter form. Stay tuned. Our final legislative update will include a link to the public chapter.

Senate Status: 03/18/19 – Senate passed.
House Status: 04/30/19 – House passed.
Executive Status: 05/01/19 – Sent to governor.
 

SB476/HB498

 

 

Expands Medicaid eligibility for children with serious functional limitations. Waives income and resource requirements.

 

Sponsors: Sen. Roberts, Kerry , Rep. Whitson, Sam
Amendment Summary: Establishes the Katie Beckett program to provide a Medicaid services eligibility pathway by waiving the parents’ income and resources requirements for children under 18 years of age and with medical needs that result in severe functional limitations, would qualify for institutionalization in an acute care hospital, nursing facility, or intermediate care facility, and are likely to last at least 12 months or result in death, and for whom the cost of care outside of the institution does not exceed the estimated Medicare cost of appropriate institutional care. Requires program to provide an integrated program which provides such children, funding permitted, respite care, care coordination, medically necessary care and supporting services. Establishes a Medicaid diversion plan that offers a capped package of essential wraparound services and supports as well as premium assistance using a sliding scale based on parent income for children meeting the previous criteria. Requires this program provide services to support and sustain child health, family caregiving, and prepare the child for transition to employment and community living with as much independence as possible in the most integrated setting appropriate and cost-effective way. Requires TennCare and Department of intellectual and Developmental Disabilities to issue annual joint report on the program’s status to the health committees of both legislative chambers. Funded @ $27 million state dollars.

This bill has not yet been signed by the Governor and put into public chapter form. Stay tuned. Our final legislative update will include a link to the public chapter.

Sponsors: Sen. Roberts, Kerry , Rep. Whitson, Sam
Senate Status: 05/01/19 – Senate passed.
House Status: 04/30/19 – House passed with amendment 1 and amendment 2.
Executive Status: 05/01/19 – Sent to the speakers for signatures.
 

SB795/HB939

 

 

Establishes TN Education Savings Account program.

 

Sponsors: Amendment Summary: Sen. Johnson, Jack , Rep. Lamberth, William

Establishes a voucher type program which would apply to two counties, Shelby and Davidson. This is a hugely detailed and complicated bill. Also, it has not yet been signed by the Governor and put into public chapter form. Stay tuned. Our final legislative update will include a link to the public chapter.

Senate Status: 05/01/19 – Senate adopted conference committee report.
House Status: 05/01/19 – House adopted conference committee report.
Executive Status: 05/01/19 – Sent to the speakers for signatures.
 

SB796/HB940

 

 

Revises TN Public Charter Schools Act.  

 

Sponsors: Sen. Johnson, Jack , Rep. Lamberth, William
Amendment Summary: Creates a public charter school commission to serve as an appellate charter school authorizer and as the LEA for any public charter school that it authorizes. The governor will appoint the nine commission members, subject to confirmation by each house of the general assembly.
Senate Status: 04/18/19 – Senate passed with amendment 6.
House Status: 04/18/19 – House concurred in Senate amendment 6.
Executive Status: 04/30/19 – Enacted as Public Chapter 0219. For details click on Public Chapter 219 below. https://publications.tnsosfiles.com/acts/111/pub/pc0219.pdf
 

SB1407/HB68

 

 

Limits authority of community oversight board.

 

Sponsors: Sen. Bell, Mike , Rep. Curcio, Michael
Summary: Limits the authority of a community oversight board.
Amendment Summary: Senate amendment 1 deletes language from the original bill establishing that the COB did not have subpoena power and replaces it with language authorizing a court to issue a subpoena if petitioned by certain officials. House amendment 1 adds that a community oversight board in existence as of the effective date of this bill will have one year from this bill’s effective date to comply with the bill’s requirements that an employee or member of a community oversight board must be a registered voter of the jurisdiction for which the community oversight board is established and that the community oversight board must not restrict or otherwise limit membership based upon demographics, economic status, or employment history.

This bill has not yet been signed by the Governor and put into public chapter form. Stay tuned. Our final legislative update will include a link to the public chapter.

Senate Status: 04/18/19 – Senate adopted conference committee report.
House Status: 04/17/19 – House adopted conference committee report.
Executive Status: 04/29/19 – Sent to governor.
 

SB1428/HB80

 

 

TennCare funding by block grant.

 

Sponsors: Sen. Bailey, Paul , Rep. Hill, Timothy
Summary: Requires the governor acting through the commissioner of finance and administration to submit to the federal centers for Medicare and Medicaid services a waiver amendment to the existing TennCare II waiver.
Amendment Summary: House amendment 1 requires any negotiated agreement between the federal government and the finance and administration commissioner be approved by a general assembly joint resolution. Senate Commerce & Labor Committee amendment 1 increases the number of days after the effective date of this act for the submission of a waiver amendment to the existing TennCare II waiver, or for the submission of a new waiver, from 120 days to 180 days. Adds that the block grant authorized must convert the federal share of all medical assistance funding for this state into an allotment that excludes from the block grant financing amount any expenses that are not included in the state’s existing 1115 demonstration waiver, factors the currant inaccurate reflection of the state’s labor costs in the state’s Medicare Wage Index, excludes administrative costs from the block grant financing amount, permits the state to continue to draw federal matching funds for administrative costs, provides the state with minimum flexibility with regard to existing federal mandates, provides the state with maximum flexibility regarding pharmacy benefits, provides the state with maximum flexibility to serve other needy populations with distinct financial needs, and remains at the level set according to the block grant without any decrease in the federal share of all medical assistance funding for this state based on deflation or a reduction in population.

This bill has not yet been signed by the Governor and put into public chapter form. Stay tuned. Our final legislative update will include a link to the public chapter.

Senate Status: 04/29/19 – Set for Senate Floor 04/30/19.
House Status: 04/11/19 – House passed with amendment 1.
Executive Status: 05/02/19 – Sent to the speakers for signatures.

Legislative Update April 23, 2019

 

SB28/HB37

 

 

Creates the Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia advisory council.

 

Sponsors: Sen. Crowe, Rusty , Rep. Whitson, Sam
Summary: Creates the state Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia advisory council and specifies membership of council and terms of members. Specifies that the council is attached to the commission on aging and disability for administrative purposes. Requires the council to develop and submit an Alzheimer’s disease state plan to the general assembly that identifies barriers to Alzheimer’s disease care, analyzes service utilization data, and includes recommendations, metrics, and best practices to address gaps in service no later than January 15, 2020.
Amendment Summary: House Health Committee amendment 1 adds the Tennessee Association for Home Care and the Tennessee Nurses Association to the list of groups who may submit qualified nominees to be appointed to the Council. Deletes language of the printed bill that authorized private citizen members of the Council be reimbursed for travel expenses incurred for attending meetings. Deletes requirement that members of the Council attend at least 50 percent of all meetings. Specifies the legislative committees to which the annual report must be submitted.
Fiscal Note: Increase State Expenditures – $6,100
Senate Status: 04/01/19 – Senate passed with amendment 1.
House Status: 04/18/19 – Set for House Finance, Ways & Means Subcommittee 04/23/19.  (The small fiscal note is not expected to be a problem in terms of ultimate passage.)
 

SB199/HB249

 

 

Creates elder abuse task force.

 

Sponsors: Sen. Briggs, Richard , Rep. Carr, Dale
Summary: Creates elder abuse task force charged with examining the current state of financial elder abuse, determining its economic and human impact, and developing recommendations to address problems associated with financial exploitation of the elderly. The task force will consist of 12 members, appointed by the health and financial commissioners, speakers of the legislative houses, district attorney, and TBI, as well as representatives from health and banking associations. The task force will submit its findings and recommendations to the governor and the general assembly no later than January 15, 2021.
Amendment Summary: House amendment 1 deletes and rewrites all language after the enacting clause such that the only substantive change is removing the legislative members from the taskforce.
Senate Status: 03/18/19 – Senate passed.
House Status: 03/14/19 – House passed with amendment 1.
Executive Status: 04/15/19 – Enacted as Public Chapter 0135 effective April 9, 2019.
 

SB232/HB57

 

 

Registration exemptions for charitable organizations.

 

Sponsors: Sen. Lundberg, Jon , Rep. Hulsey, Bud
Summary: Increases from over $30,000 to over $50,000 the amount of gross contributions that must be raised or received from the public by a charitable organization in order to trigger registration and reporting requirements with the secretary of state.
Fiscal Note: (Dated February 9, 2019) Decrease State Revenue – $46,000/Secretary of State
Senate Status: 03/18/19 – Senate passed.
House Status: 03/14/19 – House passed.
Executive Status: 04/15/19 – Enacted as Public Chapter 0132 effective July 1, 2019.
 

SB408/HB280

 

 

Exemptions for certain non-profits.

 

Sponsors: Sen. Stevens, John , Rep. Cepicky, Scott
Summary: Authorizes property tax exemption for certain nonprofit entities that occupy and use real property owned by another tax-exempt institution, including property occupied by an exempt institution that originated as part of a single exempt institution and continues to use the property for the same purpose or property occupied and actually used by the U.S. government, the state, or any agency or political subdivision of the state. Makes other revisions related to property tax exemptions for nonprofit entities.
Senate Status: 03/18/19 – Senate passed.
House Status: 04/18/19 – Set for House Finance, Ways & Means Subcommittee 04/23/19.
 

SB476/HB498

 

 

Establishes a new TennCare eligibility category for children.

 

Sponsors: Sen. Roberts, Kerry , Rep. Whitson, Sam
Amendment Summary: Senate Commerce & Labor Committee amendment 1, House Insurance Committee amendment 1 establishes the Katie Beckett program to provide a Medicaid services eligibility pathway by waiving the parents’ income and resources requirements for children under 18 years of age and with medical needs that result in severe functional limitations, would qualify for institutionalization in an acute care hospital, nursing facility, or intermediate care facility, and are likely to last at least 12 months or result in death provided they are not receiving benefits from any alternative waiver, would otherwise qualify for supplemental security income but for the income or resources of the parent, and for whom the cost of care outside of the institution does not exceed the estimated Medicare cost of appropriate institutional care. Requires the Katie Beckett program to provide an integrated program which provides such children, funding permitted, respite care, care coordination, medically necessary care and supporting services.

 

This important bill seems to have a chance to pass.  It has strong bipartisan support even though it expands Medicaid. In spite of a fiscal note indicating no significant cost, the bill as amended apparently has a revised fiscal note and would cost the state around $27,000,000. Still, it has strong support and may pass. Funding was not included in Governor Lee’s supplemental budget, but there could be a big push to include this proposed program in legislative budget decision-making.

 

Senate Status: 04/17/19 – Set for Senate Finance, Ways & Means Committee 04/23/19.
House Status: 04/18/19 – Set for House Finance, Ways & Means Subcommittee 04/23/19.
 

SB758/HB986

 

 

Tennessee Pregnant Workers Fairness Act.

 

Sponsors: Sen. Yarbro, Jeff , Rep. Shaw, Johnny
Summary: Defines reasonable accommodations in respect to employees who are pregnant. Declares that an employer is not required to construct a permanent, dedicated space for pressing milk. Establishes what an employer is not required to do unless the same accommodations are made for other employees including creating a light duty position and compensate an employee for more frequent or longer break periods. Declares it to be discriminatory based on sex for an employer to fail to make reasonable accommodations for pregnant employees, require an employee to take leave if a reasonable accommodation can be made, and take adverse action against an employee for requesting reasonable accommodations. This bill will not pass this year.
Amendment Summary: House Employee Affairs Subcommittee amendment 1 requires the department of labor and workforce development to provide online educational materials explaining existing employer responsibilities, under both federal and state law, and all rights of employees who have a pregnancy-related health condition. The attorney general must investigate complaints related to the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act or Americans with Disabilities Act and annually report finding to the general assembly and the governor.
Senate Status: 02/07/19 – Referred to Senate Commerce & Labor Committee.
House Status: 03/25/19 – Taken off notice in House Consumer & Human Resources Committee.
 

SB795/HB939

 

 

TN Education Savings Accounts Act (ESA) also referred to as the voucher bill

 

Sponsors: Sen. Johnson, Jack , Rep. Lamberth, William
Summary: This bill has seen a huge number of changes as the House and Senate have adopted many amendments. I will not attempt to summarize here. The two bodies have very different amendments at this point as supporters seek a way to find a bill that will pass by keeping the program out of counties that don’t want it. The Senate version is now down to two counties, Davidson and Shelby. The overwhelming majority of legislators representing those two counties don’t want it either, but they do not have veto power if the rest of the General Assembly decide to go that way.
Senate Status: 04/17/19 – Set for Senate Finance, Ways & Means Committee 04/23/19.
House Status: 04/18/19 – Set for House Floor for 04/23/19.
 

SB796/HB940

 

 

Public Charter Schools Act revision creating state charter school commission.

 

Sponsors: Sen. Johnson, Jack , Rep. Lamberth, William
Amendment Summary: Senate amendment 6 (007867) adds language to require that a majority of the Commission members must reside within the geographic boundary of an LEA in which at least one public charter school operates. House amendment 3 (007750) revises various provisions of the Tennessee Public Charter Schools Act of 2002, including the following: (1) This amendment creates a nine-member public charter school commission, which will serve as an appellate charter school authorizer and as the LEA for any public charter school that it authorizes.
Senate Status: 04/18/19 – Senate passed with amendment 6 (007867), which adds language to require that a majority of the Commission members must reside within the geographic boundary of an LEA in which at least one public charter school operates.
House Status: 04/18/19 – House concurred in Senate amendment 6..
Executive Status: 04/18/19 – Sent to the speakers for signatures.
 

SB1407/HB658

 

 

Limits authority of community oversight board.

 

Sponsors: Sen. Bell, Mike , Rep. Curcio, Michael
Summary: Limits the authority of a community oversight board to the review and consideration of matters reported to the board and the issuance of advisory reports and recommendations to the duly elected or appointed officials of the agencies involved in public safety and the administration of justice within the jurisdiction for which the community oversight board is established. Specifies that a community oversight board does not have the power to issue subpoenas for documents or to compel witness testimony. Requires any employee or member of a community oversight board to be a registered voter of the jurisdiction for which the community oversight board is established. Specifies other requirements for a community oversight board.
Amendment Summary: After the House and Senate passed conflicting amendments regarding subpoena power, a conference committee and subsequently the House and Senate settled on allowing oversight boards to request subpoenas but required the local legislative body to approve.
Senate Status: 04/18/19 – Senate adopted conference committee report (008273).
House Status: 04/17/19 – House adopted conference committee report (008273).
Executive Status: 04/18/19 – Sent to the speakers for signatures.

 

B1428/HB1280

 

Medicaid Block Grant Mandate

 

Sponsors: Sen. Bailey, Paul , Rep. Hill, Timothy
Summary: Requires the governor acting through the commissioner of finance and administration to submit to the federal centers for Medicare and Medicaid services a waiver amendment to the existing TennCare II waiver, or to submit a new waiver in order to provide medical assistance to the TennCare II waiver population by means of a block grant no later than 180 days (amended from 120) after the effective date of this act. Orders the block grant to convert the federal share of all medical assistance funding into an allotment that is tailored to meet the needs of the state and that is indexed for inflation and population growth. This approach has
:
Senate Status: 04/17/19 – Set for Senate Health & Welfare Committee 04/23/19.
House Status: 04/11/19 – House passed with amendment 1 (004786).
 

HJR54

 

 

Opportunities for mentorships and apprenticeships for students.

 

Sponsors: Rep. Sparks, Mike
Summary: Encourages schools, nonprofit organizations, and faith-based organizations to increase opportunities for mentorships and apprenticeships for students.
Fiscal Note: (Dated February 21, 2019) NOT SIGNIFICANT
House Status: 04/17/19 – House adopted.
 

HJR84

 

 

Constitutional amendment – annual charitable gaming events.

 

Sponsors: Rep. Faison, Jeremy
Summary: Amends Article XI, Section 5 of the state constitution to increase, from one to two, the number of charitable gaming events that a 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(19) organization may conduct for the benefit of the organization per year with the approval of two-thirds of each house of the general assembly.
House Status: 01/30/19 – Referred to House Department & Agencies Subcommittee.

Medicaid Block Grant for Tennessee

SB1428 by Paul Bailey and HB1280 by Timothy Hill

This bill would require the Governor to request a Medicaid Block Grant waiver from the federal government without federal safeguards for eligibility, benefits or funding. The Governor seems supportive of this bill.

The status of the bill as of April 17, 2019: SB1428 is scheduled to be heard by the Senate Health and Welfare Committee on April 23, 2019. It has already passed the House.

To better understand this block grant proposal, some history of TennCare and the Medicaid program is needed. Three key aspects are eligibility, benefits, and financing.

Eligibility: TennCare was proposed in April of 1993 by Governor Ned McWherter and implemented on January 1, 1994. Its intention was to cover more Tennesseans through managed care. The same amount of state revenue would be required and would be available through the savings generated by use of a managed care system as opposed to fee-for-service paradigm. To do this, Tennessee requested an “1115 Waiver” from the federal government. This waiver is a different matter than the currently discussed  block grant waiver. Other states had used an 1115 waiver to cover part of a Medicaid population.  However, Tennessee was the first and the only state at that time to use a waiver to cover the entire Medicaid population, plus a group of uninsured individuals who were not traditionally eligible as they did not meet the categorical eligibility guidelines for Medicaid.

The categorical guidelines to qualify for traditional Medicaid required that certain populations who are under a certain income level and fixed assets be covered. There were both mandated and optional groups of individuals and families. Typically, the federal mandated groups are children with their parents, pregnant women, people who are 65 and older, and people who were disabled, all of whom were also low-income. Optional groups could include other low-income adults depending on state policy.  For example, a state could choose to cover pregnant women up to 185% of poverty, but states were mandated to cover pregnant women up to 100% of poverty.

However, neither a destitute single adult nor a low-income family above poverty is currently eligible for traditional TennCare. When TennCare expanded in 1994, its eligibility included all uninsured individuals and families who were not eligible for traditional Medicaid. Without the TennCare waiver, Tennessee would not have been able to use federal matching funds to cover this new, non-traditional Medicaid eligibility group. In 2005-06, Tennessee, under the Bredesen Administration, received permission from the Federal Government to dis-enroll this new eligibility group of uninsured individuals and families who did not meet the traditional Medicaid income limits.

Benefits: However, TennCare’s waiver never allowed for the reduction of any of the medical benefits mandated by federal law. For example, essential benefits such as Early Periodic Screening Diagnostic and Treatment (EPSDT) that included dental and vision benefits for children for children, as well as prenatal care and delivery for women, were not waived nor modified by the TennCare waiver. In addition, the right to appeal both eligibility and medical decisions by TennCare was not waived.

Financing: During this time, Tennessee hospitals were one of the first in the nation to self-impose an assessment (tax) in order to supplement the state’s general revenue, thereby enabling the state to draw down additional federal matching funds. Federal limits and restrictions applied, requiring the fee to be broad-based and imposed on all Tennessee hospitals with few exceptions, such as hospitals designated as Critical Access Hospitals.

Since 1994, additional provider groups in Tennessee have taken advantage of assessing themselves a tax and using these funds to draw down additional federal matching funds. Traditional matching federal funds with general state revenue had varied for Tennessee between 65% to 70% federal funds to 35% to 30% state funds. However, with the combination of self-imposed provider assessments and specific taxes on TennCare providers, such as MCOs, the real federal matching rate has increased over time to 87% federal and 13% state funds!

In the fiscal year 2018, Tennessee’s assessments and taxes for TennCare totaled $1,773,200,000, 49% of the required state match of $3,600,000,000. This means that Tennessee’s real match rate in FY 2018 was about 13% state, not 35% to 30%, to draw down 87% federal funds:

State FY 2018 Revenue

In Millions

Revenue Source
Hospital Assessment

$449.30

Nursing Facility Assessment

$124.10

EMS Assessment

$9.40

MCO Tax

$487.90

ICF/IDD Tax

$11.10

Drug Rebates

$657.00

Intergovernmental Transfers

$34.40

TOTAL

$1,773.20

49% of $3.6 billion required state match

In 2017, Congress, in its effort to Repeal and Replace the Affordable Care Act, proposed Block Grant Medicaid. There were two different proposals. One was a straight Block Grant that would have had a Funding Cap based on the current funding level and would grow with general inflation. The second was called a Per Capita Cap and its CAP would have been based on the funding base averaged over the last three years, the number of people being covered, and general inflation. Neither passed.

Inherent challenges with any block grant proposals are:

  1. Economic Downturns: During economic downturns, Medicaid enrollment has grown.
  2. Medical Inflation: Medical inflation is generally twice that of general inflation.
  3. Who would be covered? Throughout the history of Medicaid, no state has been able to waive the mandated groups of people to be covered. Would mandated groups be waived?
  4. Eligibility Requirements: No state, thus far, has been able to lower the eligibility requirements. Up until now, the federal government has set the minimum, allowing the states to go higher. Would minimum requirements for eligibility be waived?
  5. Benefits: Currently, Medicaid has mandated benefits, such as EPSDT for children which include dental and vision. Would states to be allowed to change mandated benefits?

Consulting through an Equity Lens with Phyllis Hildreth

How can consultants apply an equity lens through their projects? CNM recently welcomed Phyllis Hildreth, Vice President for Strategy and Institutional Advancement at American Baptist College, to facilitate this conversation with our consultants. Phyllis is a conflict management specialist who is highly involved in the Nashville community through organizations such as the Metro Human Relations Commission, having served two terms, and the Community Oversight Board as appointed by the mayor. Phyllis also champions American Baptist College’s Social Justice, Equity, Advocacy, and Leadership (SEAL) initiative working to provide training and education on civic engagement.

During her session, Phyllis emphasized the idea of “consultant as curator,” outlining that consultants should know the resources and texts available on the issue of equity and be able to decipher the ones that each specific client can best use. One of the main takeaways from the session was a broad definition and expansion of the word “text.” “Text” can be an article, novel, movie, TedTalk, or an individual’s story. Phyllis hit this home at the end of her presentation saying, “we are the text.” Individuals who have firsthand experience of the systemic inequities and discrimination in this city have stories to tell.

Consultants should be equipped to select pertinent texts and tools for their clients considering context, history, and the reality of current times. The purpose of the expansion of the word “text” is to help broaden the narratives we are exposed to. Phyllis suggested the following resources to begin to educate those working in the realm of equity:

  1. Texts to dive into with guides to address work on race and equity
  2. Texts for context (historic, academic, current and cultural)
    • The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein
    • Evicted by Matthew Desmond
    • Lower Ed by Tressie McMillan Cottom
    • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
    • If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin
  3. Local data to inform equity work
  4. Emerging example model of equity work
  5. Consider the times – educate yourself on current events relevant to equity conversations
    • Ex. “Green Book” movie and history

After discussing the above resources available for individuals to educate themselves on addressing equity work, Phyllis continued to express the importance of oral texts, asking if people are bringing constituents into these conversations. With this question Phyllis urged everyone to consider what these conversation may cost an individual to have. Be independent and respectful learners. Keep in mind that asking traumatic questions costs some people more and compensate individuals for the knowledge of their experiences.

Phyllis provided this consultant training through American Baptist College under their SEAL initiative. The SEAL initiative is establishing American Baptist College as a center of excellence for education and training for civic engagement in the areas of social justice, equity, advocacy, and leadership.

Interested in how to apply an equity lens to your own work? Check out some of the below upcoming workshops:

  • April 25: Implementing Equity Frameworks: Creating Systemic Change
  • May 14: Equitable Evaluation
  • May 15: Systems Thinking for Social Change Makers
  • June 4: Community Engagement: Strategies for Implementation

Visit this page of CNM’s website to read more about our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Learning Series.