Governor Patrick released his proposed fiscal year 2012 budget this afternoon. We are very thankful that most teen pregnancy related programs were level funded. However, we are deeply disappointed by Governor Patrick’s proposal to eliminate the Employment Services Program, which includes YPP. Intensive advocacy to the legislature to fund YPP will be critical to ensure this irreplaceable education and job training program is funded in the fiscal year 2012 budget. The line item that includes YPS was also reduced by 2%.
Massachusetts has a $2 billion budget gap to fill for fiscal year 2012. Unlike recent years past policymakers do not have federal stimulus dollars, ample rainy day funds nor much of an appetite for new taxes to help fill in this gap. With a total of $570 million in spending reductions, many areas of the budget were deeply cut in Patrick’s proposed budget. These areas include spending for emergency homeless shelter, mental health hospitals, non-school local aid, and clothing allowances for families on public assistance (TAFDC). You can check out the Governor’s budget for yourself on his website.
Please see below for details on funding levels for each teen pregnancy related program. This excel spreadsheet also provides details on the governor’s budget and previous fiscal year budgets. Click here for the Alliance’s full fiscal year 2012 budget recommendations.
Funding levels for teen pregnancy related programs in Governor Patrick’s proposed fiscal year 2012 budget:
Teen Pregnancy Prevention is funded at $2,399,983 million, which is a $1,656 or .07% increase from the current fiscal year 2011 budget. Some other health-related programs, such as family planning and school health services were reduced.
The Young Parent Program (YPP) is not funded at all. In the budget, YPP is part of a larger program called the Employment Services Program (ESP). Governor Patrick has proposed eliminating funding for ESP and YPP.
Teen Parent Child Care: Governor Patrick proposed an overall decrease of approximately $500,000 or .1% in child care spending. Governor Patrick proposed to consolidate the three child care accounts (TANF Related, Income Eligible, and Supportive). The Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) has reported that under Patrick’s plan, TANF Related Child Care would receive an increase of approximately $9 million and Income Eligible Care would receive a decrease of approximately $14 million. TANF and Income Eligible are the two accounts that pay for teen parent child care and the Commissioner of EEC can transfer some funds between these two accounts. The budget language requires EEC to provide teen parent child care, but does not specify how much must be spent on this care. The language also does not include past provisions assuring access to child care for teen parents not receiving TANF (public assistance). Therefore, the direct impact of Patrick’s plan on teen parent child care is unknown.
- Teen Living Shelter Program (TLP) is funded at $6,577,740 million, which is an increase of $1,164 or .02% from the current fiscal year 2011 budget.
The Young Parent Support Program (YPS) is part of a larger line item, which is funded at $242,507,069 million. This represents a decrease of approximately $5 million or 2% from the current fiscal year 2011 budget. There is no language specifying funding for YPS, which means it is unknown how YPS would be funded under the Governor’s proposal.
Healthy Families is funded at $10,538,067, which is an increase of 1 dollar from fiscal year 2011.
Don’t forget that the Governor’s budget is only the first step in creating the fiscal year 2012 budget. Over the next few months, we must ensure legislators understand that the wellbeing of the commonwealth, our youth and generations to come are dependent on these programs!
Please stay tuned for forthcoming advocacy alerts with more detail on what you can do to advocate to your legislators. If you do not receive advocacy alerts from the Alliance and would like to, please email Liz Peck at firstname.lastname@example.org.