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ICS Submits Comments to Congressional Record for Hearing on Pay for Success and H.R. 4885

By Bryan Boroughs and Megan Golden

We have submitted comments, below, to the Congressional Record for the recent hearing about Pay for Success Financing and HR 4885.


Introduction

The Institute for Child Success is excited by the progress of discussions in Congress surrounding Pay for Success financing models (often called Social Impact Bonds). We thank Representatives Young and Delaney for their leadership in proposing H.R. 4885, and also thank Chairman Reichert for holding a Subcommittee hearing to discuss this topic on September 9, 2014.

The Institute for Child Success respectfully submits the following written comments to the hearing record for your consideration. In these comments, we begin with an overview of our perspective on the benefits of Pay for Success financing, and how these financing models can be particularly advantageous for programs serving our youngest children. We then discuss the substantial benefits of federal involvement, the reasons that legislation is necessary for meaningful federal engagement, and the ways in which H.R. 4885 responds to that need.

Like with any new and exciting innovations, we should also resist the temptation to treat Pay for Success financing as a cure for all ills. Indeed, many have voiced significant concerns – including one of the witnesses at the Subcommittee’s hearing on September 9, 2014. We too want to acknowledge the limitations of social impact bonds, and address how 4885 appropriately handles those limitations; we discuss several of these issues at the end of these comments.

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