This session, let's not balance the budget on the backs of children

Center Focus

This session, let's not balance the budget on the backs of children

 

Iowa faces another tough budget year when it convenes on January 8. Lawmakers cut or eliminated many programs and services in last year’s budget due to a series of revenue shortfalls. Unfortunately, the trend continues, although at a somewhat slower pace.

We believe the reduction and/or elimination of tax credits must be on the table in 2018 to address this persistent problem—not just cutting services for vulnerable young Iowans. The long-term economic and social health and prosperity of Iowa depends on helping children achieve their full potential. 

Put another way: Our state shouldn’t balance its budget on the backs of children. 

Our goal is to make Iowa children a priority for policy action. We do this by having a consistent presence at the Iowa statehouse, rigorous research and collaborative relationships with lawmakers and other advocates and partners. We are ready for the 2018 legislative session and the opportunity to tackle these pressing issues.

Read our policy priorities here.

Despite the challenges we know are coming, we know we can make a difference because of what we have already accomplished through the years: Four-Year-Old Preschool Program, no waiting lists for child care, slow and steady expansion of the 1st Five Healthy Mental Development initiative, protecting children’s health insurance coverage, more funding for AMP, expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit, and so much more.

BUT we still have one of the lowest family eligibility levels for child care assistance and our child care providers are woefully reimbursed, resulting in an infant/toddler child care crisis and the rise of child care deserts –- entire neighborhood or communities where there are simply no providers to serve children in need of care. Our state continues to rank at the bottom for mental health access. A troubling share of Iowa children and their families are dealing with childhood trauma or ACEs. We have a child welfare system that is underfunded and understaffed.

Through research and advocacy, we seek to influence these policies priorities affecting the lives of Iowa children and families on issues related to early care and education, child health and well-being and family economic success. We look forward to engaging our fellow Iowans throughout session.

Events of note

The Center will host a legislative breakfast at the state Capitol on Thursday, January 25 at 7:30 a.m. to raise the profile of children’s needs with state lawmakers.

In addition, we look forward to partnering and participating in several Legislative Day on the Hill events. Look for more information on all these events in our legislative update emails starting in January.

Monday, January 22 – AMP (Achieving Maximum Potential)

Tuesday, February 6 – United Way of Central Iowa Skillz to Compete

Tuesday, February 13 – United Way of Central Iowa OpportUNITY

Wednesday, February 21 – NAMI Iowa Day on the Hill

Monday, March 19 – Early Childhood Iowa

Monday, April 9 (subject to change depending on legislative session calendar) – Prevent Child Abuse Iowa

 

 

12/22/2017 5:48 PM |Add a comment
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