Queens, NY - Assemblyman Hevesi (D-Forest Hills), Chair of the Assembly Social Services Committee, held a joint bipartisan public hearing last week examining New York State’s use of Community Service Block Grants (CSBGs). Assemblywoman Peoples-Stokes (Chair of Governmental Operations), Senator DeFrancisco (Chair of Finance), and Senator Carlucci (Chair of Social Services) were among the legislators that discussed how the state meets federal requirements to receive CSBG funds, and the manner in which they are distributed.
First introduced in 1981, the CSBG program provides federal funding to combat poverty at the local level. Administered by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), funds are allocated by formula to states and territories, who then manage distribution to individual organizations conducting anti-poverty activities.
Receiving testimony from state administrators and outside experts, the legislators focused on the methodology behind prioritization of CSBG-eligible programs, the impacts of this funding source, and other related issues. The hearing provided insight and guidance on how to maximize the impact of anti-poverty projects.
According to Hevesi, “By examining how our state manages funds for programs designed to lift people out of poverty, we ensure those who need help receive it. Community Service Block Grants must be properly targeted in order to fulfill their role in support of a comprehensive anti-poverty strategy.”