2016 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.
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.
Support Possible Revenue Measures for the General Fund
Many ideas have been brought forward by state leaders to provide sufficient funding for the General Fund. Children First believes that without a healthy General Fund, the children of this state will not receive adequate services. The cuts to state agencies over the last several years have resulted in the elimination of programs for families across the state and, as a result, progress we have made to increase the overall well-being of our children has been diminished.
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.
Develop policy that insures every county in AL has a diversion program for juvenile offenders
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.