The Senate Ways and Means Committee (SWM) released its fiscal year 2014 (FY14) budget this afternoon. I am thrilled to report that teen pregnancy prevention and teen parent programs fared very well overall! Congratulations on all of your advocacy- it paid off!
Your prompt action is needed, however, to ensure that the final Senate budget includes the full increase needed to avoid cuts to the Teen Living Shelter Program. The Senate showed tremendous support for TLP by increasing funding for the program by $1.8 M. However, an additional $5,628 is needed to ensure TLP can maintain the current number of beds once provider rate increases take effect. (TLP is funded at $9.19 M in SWM and needs to be funded at $9.2 M.)
Please see the script below and call or email your Senator ASAP to ask that they co-sponsor the TLP amendment by Friday.
- Further below is a brief synopsis for each teen parent program and teen pregnancy prevention.
- Click here for our spreadsheet with a fuller analysis on each program.
- You can find the SWM budget with a message from the Ways and Means Chair here.
- You can look up your Senator and his/her contact information here.
Script for Call or Email:
“Hi I am ________(name), from _________(city/town). I would like to urge Senator__________ (or “you” if emailing Senator directly) to co-sponsor an amendment for the Teen Living Shelter Program (line item 4403-2119) that would simply ensure that the program has enough funding to maintain the current number of shelter beds. Please protect teens who are pregnant or have children, and have no place else to go, from having to stay in unsafe living situations. Please contact Caitriona Fitzgerald in Senator Finegold’s office by 12:00 on Friday to be listed as a co-sponsor when the amendment is filed: Caitriona.Fitzgerald@masenate.gov or 617-722-1612.
Brief Synopsis on Other Programs:
- Teen Pregnancy Prevention (4530-9000) would see an increase in funding of $154,251. $150,000 of this increase would go towards a new data and evaluation pilot. The program would be funded at $2.5 M overall.
- Young Parents GED Program (YPP): YPP is part of the Employment Services Program (4401-1000), which would be cut by approximately $2.8 M overall (and funded at $4.28 M). However, SWM language includes an earmark for YPP of $3,447,571, which is an increase of $182,871!
- Teen Parent Child Care (TPCC): TPCC is part of 3000-4050 and 3000-4060, which would be cut by approximately $532,000 and $10 M respectively. However, SWM proposes the creation of a new line item with $15 M to address the wait list for subsidized child care, a policy move for which we have been advocating.
- Young Parent Support Program (YPS): The line item that includes YPS (4800-0038) would see a $1.2 M increase in funding (and be funded at $249 M overall). YPS would likely be level funded based on proposed language.
- Healthy Families (HF): Part of 3000-7000, would see a small increase of $45,218 and be funded at $10.48 M.
- School Based Health Centers (SBHC), which is part of 4590-0250, would be cut by $514,634 and be funded at $11.2 M overall. We will support any amendments filed to restore this funding.
Please note that this is one more (important) step in the budget process. We will need to advocate for the best funding levels and language we can get in the Senate budget to position ourselves well for our next stop, which is Conference Committee. For the Conference Committee budget we will need to advocate to leadership to include the best proposals from the House and Senate budgets.