2015 LEGISLATIVE AGENDA
Protection of the Children First Trust Fund
In the next legislative session, the General Fund budget will face shortfalls as it has in recent years. We must continue to remind our legislators that as they look for revenue to offset the cost of government, the Children First Trust Fund must remain intact. It is a highly accountable fund that has to report exactly how many children
and families are served by its dollars each year. No other budget in Alabama upholds those strict standards.
Support a Tobacco Tax Increase
A tobacco tax increase to slightly below the national average ($1.46/pack of cigarettes) will decrease teen smoking and raise needed state revenue. The new dollars would go to the General Fund budget which funds numerous state agencies that affect the well-being of Alabama’s children and families. It has been estimated that this tax
would generate $215 million dollars annually and would prevent teen smoking by 20%.
Advocate for Sufficient Funding for Agencies that Serve Children
The twelve state agencies that benefit from the Children First Trust Fund are also funded by either the General Fund or the Education Trust Fund. As budgets in Alabama become tighter, it is important to continue to educate lawmakers on what proposed cuts could do to the well-being of Alabama’s children.
Protection of funds dedicated to Early Childhood Education (especially HIPPY)
Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) is an evidenced-based program that works with families in the home to support parents in their critical role as their child’s first and most important teacher. This high successful program is funded in 32 Alabama counties and serves almost 1,800 children and families.
Reduce Childhood Obesity By Healthy Food Access
Making nutritious, affordable food available in Alabama communities with limited access to healthy foods can improve health outcomes as well as create opportunity for local business development. We advocate for legislation to provide financial incentives to retailers to provide healthy food in underserved communities.
Strengthen The Graduated Driver License Law
Promote legislation to increase the number of teen practice driving hours in the Graduated Driver License law from 30 to 50 hours. Research has shown that additional training hours with a licensed driver decreases teen accidents and fatal crashes.
Develop policy that insures every county in AL has a diversion program for juvenile
Research has shown that community-based diversion programs aimed at non-violent juvenile offenders is both cost effective and successful at setting youths back on track towards a productive adulthood. Currently, each Alabama county does not have a diversion program; as a result, CF is working with the Department of Youth Services to insure that these crucial services are available.