Budget and Welfare Reform Advocacy: Take Action Now!

The Conference Committee has begun to meet to work out the differences between the House and Senate budgets. Please take action now to advocate for programs that support teen pregnancy prevention and young families! The Senate President will also release a welfare reform bill in the coming weeks, so in the talking points below I include requests for conference committee and the Senate President’s welfare reform bill.

ACTION STEPS:

  • Call or email your legislators NOW to urge them to support the recommendations below by using some or all of the talking points. Find your legislators’ contact information here.
  • Mobilize youth and colleagues to call and email!
  • To make the greatest impact, also call the Senate President, Speaker of the House and Conference Committee members listed at the bottom of this alert.
  • Shoot me an email to let me know that you/your staff/your program youth made calls or wrote emails.

TALKING POINTS FOR CALLS AND EMAILS:

For conference committee:
1. Adopt the Senate proposal for the following line items:

  • Teen Pregnancy Prevention (4530-9000) to fund at $2.53 million
  • TANF Related child care (3000-4050) to fund at $128 million, Income Eligible child care (3000-4060) to fund at $217.9 million and $15 million to address the income eligible wait list (3000-4070)
  • Teen Living Shelter Program (4403-2119) to fund at $9.19 million
  • Healthy Families (3000-7000) to fund at $10.48 million
  • School Based Health Centers (part of 4590-0250) to fund at $12.9 million
  • RAFT (7004-9316) that provides protections for families at imminent risk of staying in places not meant for human habitation.
  • Family Planning (4513-1000) to fund at $5.2 million

2. Adopt the House proposal for the following line item: Children and Family Services, which includes the Young Parent Support Program (4800-0038) to fund at $250.6 million

3. Adopt the Senate language for the Employment Services Program (4401-1000), which includes language for the Young Parents GED Program that says YPP shall receive not less than $3,447,571. Adopt the House funding level for the overall Employment Services Program to fund at $6.53 million.

For welfare reform:
Speak to the Senate President about including the following provisions in her welfare reform bill:

  • Additional funding for the Teen Living Shelter program and a change in policy that would enable pregnant teens at any stage in their pregnancy to apply for TLP. TLP ensures pregnant and parenting females who are eligible for welfare can meet living arrangement requirements when the teen is unable to live with her parents.
  • Funding to enable teen parent child care providers to provide teen parents who have TAFDC child care vouchers with support services. The department of early education and care eliminated funding for support services for youth with vouchers.
  • Include the Pathways Pilot and efforts to help low-income families get the education, training and supports they need to access good jobs.

 CONTACT INFORMATION: President, Speaker, Members of Conference Committee:

Senate President Therese Murray, 617-722-1500
Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo, 617-722-2500

Senate Ways and Means Chair Stephen Brewer, 617-722-1540
Senate Ways and Means Vice Chair Jennifer Flanagan, 617-722-1230

House Ways and Means Chair Brian Dempsey, 617-722-2990
House Ways and Means Vice Chair Stephen Kulik, 617-722-2380

Thank you for all of your advocacy!