Public Policy – New York State Budget
Democracy lives in each and every one of us. It has never been more evident than it is today. Right now, the New York State legislature is presenting its priorities and budget requests to the Governor, for enactment in the April 2017- March 2018 fiscal year. These are the messages we all need to carry to our local representatives and to Albany:
NY must invest TODAY in a strategic, systems-building approach for the sake of our children and families:
Child Care: The Executive Budget does not include any new funding for the child care subsidy program for low income working families. And, at a time when new funding is needed to implement the requirements of the Federal Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2014. We urgently need to:
-Invest $100M for child care assistance.
-Create an Early Childhood Learning Fund with a dedicated revenue stream.
-Implement new federal block grant requirements without passing costs onto providers.
Pre-K: We must add at least $150 million to invest in Pre-K around the state for three-and four-year-olds as nearly 24,000 at-risk 4’s still have no full-day Pre-K.
We must Support the Governor’s proposal to convert the $30 million Priority Pre-K program to an aid formula distributed by allocation as the next step to creating a single State Pre-K program.
We much encourage community-based programs to provide Pre-K services.
Home Visiting needs to maintain $26.8 million and invest an additional $9.5 million in maternal, infant, and early childhood home visiting to adequately fund a continuum of supports and services for families.
Early Intervention (EI) must begin restoring reimbursement rates by increasing the current rates by at least 5% this year. Our youngest children in Monroe County are now waiting for evaluations and services, when brain development is at its most critical for learning.
New York’s Quality Rating and Improvement System must receive increased funding for QUALITYstarsNY to expand the program. We are asking for $20 million.
Workforce: Especially urgent is the need to create a state task force to evaluate the immediate and long-term impact of the increasing minimum wage on current salary structures and the cost of these critical services; and to develop recommendations to ensure appropriate compensation for the professionals working in these programs. If we are at a crisis moment now, what will it be like in 5 years?
Please call the local offices of your representatives this week and ask them for what you feel passionate about from above.
Here is a partial listing:
Senator Joe Robach 585-225-3650
Senator Rich Funke 585-223-1800
Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle 585-467-0410
Assembly Member David Gantt 585-454-3670
Assembly Member Harry Bronson 585-244-5255