America Forward: State of Play on Pay for Success Policy

The following post was written by Nicole Truhe, America Forward’s Director of Government Affairs. 

America Forward, New Profit’s policy arm, recently brought together almost 60 organizations and thought leaders interested in the growing Pay for Success movement to provide an update on current federal legislative activity and discuss prospects for growth during this Congressional session.

The cross-sector Pay for Success approach has the potential to be a powerful tool for getting dramatically better results from social programs and scaling the best social innovations, which is why America Forward and New Profit have invested heavily to support its growth:

Though Pay for Success is a relatively new concept, in just the last two years there has been a tripling of the number of Pay for Success projects across the country, the Obama Administration has doubled its request for funding to support such projects, and Congress has introduced or passed four times the number of bills aimed at authorizing or funding Pay for Success projects and studies.

America Forward’s recent network update on Pay for Success focused on four key legislative vehicles in the current Congress that would authorize new Pay for Success activity, continue to scale current work, and provide overarching support for the move to an outcomes-based approach to policy and funding decisions.

  • Education Bills: Both the House of Representatives and Senate approved the inclusion of Pay for Success initiatives as an allowable use of state and local funds in various titles (House: Title II, Senate: Titles I and IV) of their respective versions of the Every Child Achieves Act of 2015 (H.R. 5/S. 1177).
Current Status: Both chambers have voted their respective bills out of the committee of jurisdiction and are waiting on floor passage. The Senate has identified interest in ensuring passage prior to August recess. As publication of this post, the House has not provided a timeline for floor passage.
  • Appropriations: The FY13, FY14, and FY15 appropriations bills authorized federal agencies to support Pay for Success projects, including the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the Corporation for National and Community Service. There are additional appropriations requests in the FY16 bills being negotiated in Congress that continue funding for current Pay for Success projects as well as explore other agencies and issues areas to support the use of Pay for Success. One specific new request by the Administration is in IDEA, Part C to expand early screening and early intervention.
    Current Status: Both House and Senate Appropriations committees have received their subcommittee allocations and are drafting their individual bills.
  • Evidence-Based Policymaking Commission Act: Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) reintroduced their legislation that would create a commission to develop practices and processes for ensuring the use of outcomes and evidence when making federal policy and budget decisions. Known as the Evidence-Based Policymaking Commission Act, the Commission would be tasked with identifying data access and inventory needs and making recommendations for how best to incorporate outcomes into federal program design.
    Current Status: The House committee of jurisdiction, Oversight and Government Reform, successfully voted for passage of the bill. The Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs committee has yet to act on the bill.
  • Social Impact Partnership Act: Introduced in both the House and Senate, this pending legislation (H.R. 1336/S. 1089) would direct federal resources to states and local communities to support innovative Pay for Success arrangements. The bills aim to tackle social and public health challenges while evaluating programs more closely in order to achieve desired outcomes for those in need and more effectively use taxpayer dollars.
    Current Status: Both bills have been introduced and are awaiting action in their respective committees (House Ways &Means, Financial Services and Senate Finance).

If you are interested in learning more about Pay for Success or America Forward’s Pay for Success advocacy efforts, please contact America Forward’s Government Affairs Director, Nicole Truhe ( Nicole_truhe [a]

To read additional material on Pay for Success on New Profit’s blog, click here.

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