Budget Season 2018
Now that both the House and Senate have reviewed the Governor’s budget recommendations for the fiscal year 2019 (FY2019) and approved their own versions of the state budget, they will focus on points of difference to be negotiated by legislative leadership and decided in Conference Committees. Once the Legislature approves an FY2019 budget, the Governor has the power to veto any spending line item, so they are an important partner in negotiations too.
The May Revenue Estimating Conference has increased the revenue estimate for the General Fund by $155.9 million, and for the School Aid Fund by $159.9 million, which means that lawmakers have more than enough resources to fund critical investments across the board in children, youth, and families with money left over.
Read what’s still in play in the state budget
Engagement with your state legislators still, whether or not they are in leadership roles or named to the Conference Committees, is critical now. Much of the budget negotiation will be held privately, and things move quickly, so we need to make sure that when called upon to vote, the people representing us know where we believe their priorities should be. We need all advocates to continue to make the case for essential, effective supports and services for Michigan’s children, youth, and families.
- Make sure you know the names of your elected officials in Lansing. Grow and nurture champions for kids!
- Find out who will be making major budget decisions in the next few weeks. (link coming soon!) If your elected officials are in this group, your voice becomes even more critical. If they aren’t, they need to be able to carry your priorities to their colleagues and vote in the best interest of children, youth, and families when the negotiated budgets come up for a vote.
- Keep up with the latest actions. We have updated our 2018 Budget Basics linked below along with graphics to help you remember the top things to tell your state legislators — we need you to show them just how important these supports are.
Michigan’s effective localized strategy for preventing the conditions that lead to abuse and neglect, need a recommitment of state resources to meet rising need. Legislators need to support the increase proposed by the House but push for additional resources in order to expand community capacity and service coverage all over the state.
Michigan is receiving an increase in federal Child Care and Development Block Grant funding, representing a 30% increase in available resources for our child care subsidy system. Legislators need to support the Senate budget recommendation to utilize this influx of funding to raise family income eligibility to 150% FPL and shift Michigan’s hourly payment structure to bi-weekly, reforms that would present a major improvement to our system.
The Governor, House, and Senate all included a $5 million statewide appropriation for Early On, increasing program funding by 50%. Since this is not a point of difference, it is unlikely that it will be in the final budget. Legislators need to know that we are glad for their decision to join every other state in the nation and contribute state dollars to support Early On, but that this funding represents only a starting point in the process of building a high quality, accessible system throughout the state.
A Statewide Early On Michigan Investment, April 2018
There was no significant investment in family literacy in budget recommendations. Legislators need to support the Senate’s limited increase in adult education funding and the House Marshall Plan for Talent increases that improve services for young parents and other over-age and under-credited struggling students. They also need to build requirements into Early Literacy initiatives to collect data on barriers that parents and guardians have with implementing read-at-home plans with their children, informing better supports.
Supporting Family Literacy in the State Budget, April 2018
Funding for MYOI and Fostering Futures was maintained, but not increased, in all budget recommendations. Legislators need to support the House recommendations to increase funding for runaway and homeless youth organizations, expand the Fostering Futures Scholarship use to cover expenses at career technical institutions, and parts of the Marshall Plan for Talent that could assist youth experiencing foster care and/or homelessness. They need to allow for further spending flexibility in Fostering Futures and understand that increased investments are needed to that program and for MYOI in order for every eligible young person around the state to access them.
Fighting Medicaid Work Requirements
When their parents have health care, children are more likely to see the doctor and less likely to live in families with medical debt. Young adults facing trauma, including those with experience in the foster care system, often have needs that prevent them from regularly attending school or securing job training. Medicaid work requirements simply don’t work for children and youth.
The Senate has passed SB 897, which would create a work requirement program for public health care recipients in Michigan. While pregnant women, children, and parents of young children, and full-time college students, among others, are exempted from the bill, the exemptions cover far from every family situation and still could put children and youth at risk.
WE NEED YOU to lend your voice and tell your state legislators that Medicaid work requirements are not a solution to the issues facing children, youth, and families in need.