Act Now: Congress Needs to Hear from You in Support of Child Care, Expanding the Child Tax Credit, other Family Supports
American Families Plan Would Make Major Investments in America’s Safety Net

(Oct. 6, 2021) Decisions are being made right now on Capitol Hill that will determine whether Congress passes legislation with major investments in America’s child care system and other family safety net programs as outlined in President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda and American Families Plan, now under debate in the Budget Reconciliation process. Whether you are a parent, child care provider, educator, business person, religious leader or civic leader, your voice is needed today. We urge you to contact your elected representatives in Washington, D.C. to impress upon them that you want support for child care, the earned income tax credit, the child tax credit, and other children’s services prioritized in the Reconciliation package being debated in Congress.

These investments will strengthen and uplift Michigan families at a time when they and Michigan’s economy desperately need a booster shot to emerge strong from the impacts of the worldwide pandemic. Provisions of the Budget Reconciliation package will add billions of dollars for Michigan families by expanding the child tax credit, the earned income tax credit, and financial assistance that lowers the cost of long-term care, prescription drugs, and child care services.

Follow this link provided by the First Five Years Fund to send a message to your Member of Congress. Michigan has 14 U.S. representatives and two senators in Washington, D.C. who need to understand the challenges Michigan families face and the help they need to emerge from these difficult times. Let’s invest in our families and future!


Act Now: ARPA Dollars Needed to Provide for Adult Education
Tell Lawmakers to Direct ARPA Funds for Basic Skills & Career Training for Disadvantaged Workers

(September 9, 2021) The COVID pandemic and economic crisis has laid bare the need to accelerate education resources for all learners, including individuals seeking a credential or degree to improve their employment prospects and better support themselves and their families. Even before the global crisis, 1 in 10 Michiganders over 18 did not have a high school diploma; additionally, over 1 million Michiganders without a college education were working, but earning less than the living wage. The need to improve the economic stability of all Michiganders and their families is great. Therefore, it is imperative that Michigan lawmakers prioritize adult education programs by directing American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars to Michigan programs that ensure more adult learners are supported, served and moved into gainful employment.

Michigan’s Children supports the Michigan Association for Community and Adult Education (MACAE) request for an increase in adult education funding by using available federal relief dollars. To this point, the state has not directly allocated any federal funds for adult basic education or skill building in Michigan, even though policymakers have made huge investments in other pandemic-impacted education programs, namely those in the state’s K-12 system.

The pandemic has exasperated obstacles individuals face in accessing adult education programs. Most commonly, barriers have included a lack of child care, transportation, internet access, and career and postsecondary transitional services. ARPA funds will assist in dismantling some of these barriers, opening up more opportunities for adult learners. As advocates for Michigan’s children and families, please urge your elected leaders to direct Michigan’s ARPA funds to support the state’s adult education programs.

For additional information, read MACAE’s letter soliciting ARPA funds before state Lawmakers here.

Follow this link to a letter that will ultimately be sent to your state representative, state senator and the Office of the Governor!


Act Now: Kinship Families and Kids Need Support, not Political Posturing
Urge Your Lawmaker to Adopt Bills Creating a Kinship Navigator Program, and Kinship Advisory Council

Act Now: The Michigan Kinship Care Coalition, a group of invested partners and providers, is urging the state legislature and Executive Office to work together to bring forward and pass the Kinship Navigator and Kinship Advisory Council bills to improve the care and wellbeing of 52,000 kids in Michigan.

(July 28, 2021) After passing with bipartisan support in the last legislative session and then vetoed, it is far time for these important pieces of legislation to become policy. Michigan’s children and kinship/relative providers need the critical resources, networking and support that these acts would create.

Take advantage of the time we have now to urge your State Senator and Representative to support adoption of the Kinship Navigator and Kinship Advisory Council bills. Contact your policymakers by using the Michigan House Directory and the Michigan Senate Directory.

Kinship Care Action Alert letter click here.


Act Now: Final Negotiations for FY22 State Budget
Still Time to Contact Your Lawmakers about Spending Priorities that are Still in Play

Act Now: The House and Senate have set their remaining budget priorities for the 2021-22 Fiscal Year. Now, legislative leaders negotiate on their points of difference; and once the Legislature approves a budget, the Governor has the power to veto any spending item. Your voice is critical today for influencing remaining decisions that can change the odds for children, youth, and families.

(July 9, 20221) Here’s the timeline you should know: A budget must pass by October 1 to avoid a state government shutdown. The Senate is scheduled to meet on July 15 and 31, and the House will only meet on July 14, 15, and 21, with more off-time for both chambers in the first two weeks of August. Then lawmakers will be in Lansing more often until October 1.

Take advantage of the time we have now to influence your State Senator and Representative on spending items that are still in play. Contact your policymakers; find them using the Michigan House Directory and the Michigan Senate Directory.


Act Now: Governor’s $1.4 Billion Child Care Proposal
Urge Your Legislators to Support Significant Investment in
Michigan’s Child Care System Today

 

Action Now: Michigan can’t get back to work unless we invest now in high-quality child care that meets the needs of families and children, and in the child care businesses and teachers across the state that are struggling to make ends meet. We must urge the Legislature to move quickly to adopt the governor’s $1.4 billion child care investment proposal, and continue to work to strengthen child care in Michigan through adequate payment rates and wages for child care professionals. Send your Lawmakers a message of support for the Governor’s proposal today:

(June 22, 2021) Through two prior federal COVID relief bills, the federal government has directed $1.4 billion to Michigan for its beleaguered child care system, spurring Governor Whitmer to seek Legislative approval to adopt her plan to put that money to good use for critically needed improvements and reforms. While they have yet to act, lawmakers in the House have agreed with many of the Governor’s provisions. Now is the time they all move forward! Please tell your lawmakers to move swiftly to approve the Governor’s plans and pass a supplemental bill that helps families access and pay for child care, while helping providers who have worked perilously during the pandemic stay in business and expand in order to meet public need.

Read details of the Governor’s far-reaching proposal and direct supports to families, providers and child care programs here.


Act Now: Thank Congress Today
Reach out to Senators and Members of Congress Who Voted for the ARPA

Say “Thank You!” to both of Michigan’s Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters as well as your Representatives who voted to approve the American Rescue Plan Act. Find contact info for Members of Congress on our Contact Policymakers webpage.


icon Strong FamiliesAct Now: Budget Advocacy for Strong Families
Supplemental Budget Funds Needed for Child Care, OST Programs, Rental Assistance

(March 19, 2020) – Michigan’s elected officials are in a position to appropriate significant federal and state revenues to meet the essential needs of children, youth, and families during this pandemic and economic crisis. Urge your state representative and state senator to support immediate action in the Fy2021 current year budget to pass key supports for families and young people, including expanded access to affordable quality child care, high-quality out-of-school time learning programs such as afterschool and summer programs, and rental assistance. We ask you to take action.

Read Michigan’s Children letter to State Legislative Appropriations Leaders (PDF file) and Contact Your Policymakers to share your support.


icon Thriving StudentsAct Now: Budget Advocacy for Thriving Students
Support Our Request to Increase OST Pandemic Relief by $15 million Now; $120 Million over 2 Years

(February 2020) – There has been no dedicated state funding for out-of-school time (OST) programs for after-school and summer learning since 2011. To help families of school-age children thrive and OST program survive, the COVID-19 pandemic and crisis, the Michigan’s Children joins the Michigan After-School Partnership’s request for $15 million in OST program relief and $120 for summer learning programs for two years. Even before the pandemic, half of all programs that qualified for federal funds missed out due to limited funds, which have continued to shrink because of the federal government’s allocation formula. We ask you to take action.

Learn more about the issue in our Budget Basics report, Supporting Thriving Students in the Michigan State Budget: Afterschool and Summer Learning.

Then Contact Your Policymakers to share your views.


Act Now: Budget Advocacy for Thriving Studentsicon Thriving Students
Tell Your Lawmaker to Adopt an Equitable Funding Formula for School Aid

Michigan’s Children supports the School Finance Research Collaborative model for determining the true cost of educating a child in Michigan, and what that, appropriating K-12 school funds in a manner that ensures equity and fairness so that all children receive the education they deserve. We urge you to tell your lawmakers to adopt the Collaborative’s funding model for school aid.

To learn more, visit the SFRC website.

Contact Your Policymakers to share your view.


Act Now: Budget Advocacy for Successful Transitionsicon Successful Transitions
Urge Greater Support for Programs Serving Youth Experiencing Homelessness

Michigan agencies that provide runaway and homeless youth with crisis and transition services are effective, but too many communities in rural and urban communities state-wide do not have accessible programs for these at-risk youths. Michigan’s Children supports $6 million to expand supports for runaway and homeless youth and their families, as well as full appropriation of federal rental assistance funding, in the state budget beginning in late October 2021.

Learn more in this Budget Basics report: Successful Youth Transitions in the Michigan State Budget: Runaway and Homeless Youth (PDF file) Contact Your Policymakers to share your view.

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