Programs Fare Well in Conference Budget, but Advocacy to the Governor Needed ASAP

Conference Committee released its fiscal year 2012 (FY12) budget Friday, July 1. Although we are disappointed Conference Committee cut the Teen Living Shelter Program, overall the legislature showed very strong support for teen parent programs and teen pregnancy prevention. Thank you to all of you who advocated over many months for these programs! Below is a synopsis on the funding levels proposed by Conference Committee for each teen pregnancy related program.

Our work is not finished yet - we need to urge the Governor to approve Conference Committee’s proposal for these programs. Please CALL GOVERNOR PATRICK ASAP and ask him to “adopt Conference Committee’s proposal for teen parent and teen pregnancy prevention program funding”. His office number is: 888.870.7770 or 617.725.4005.

Conference Committee FY12 Budget Synopsis:

Teen Pregnancy Prevention (4530-9000): Conference Committee did not adopt the Senate’s budget proposal to increase funding for Teen Pregnancy Prevention. They did adopt the House version, which nearly level funds the program. Teen Pregnancy Prevention is funded at $2,378,410, which is only a 0.8% or $19,917 reduction.

The Young Parents Program (part of 4401-1000: Employment Services Program): The overall Employment Services Program was funded at $7.1 million and cut by more than half. Yet, there is language that would guarantee level funding for YPP (at $3.2 million). Other programs the Department of Transitional Assistance would be required to fund are: CIES ($3 million), DTA Works internship program ($50,000), learning disability assessments, transportation benefits for recipients of TAFDC, and programs operated through the MA Office of Refugee and Immigrants.

The Teen Living Shelter Program (4401-1000): Unfortunately, Conference Committee funded TLP at $6.4 million, which is a 2% cut. We are very disappointed by this and have no means to try to restore the $139,868 cut before the Governor signs the budget. However, we will fight to get this money restored through one of the supplemental FY12 budget bills policymakers will likely pass this year. We cannot know when policymakers will propose the first FY12 supplemental spending bill, but when they do, you will hear from us!

Teen Parent Child Care (part of TANF Related and Income Eligible Child Care accounts): TANF Related Child Care (3000-4050) is funded at $132,458,313, which is a cut of approximately 4% or $5 million. Income Eligible Child Care (which funds Teen Parent Child Care contract slots) is funded at $232,897,940, which represents a 0.3% or $629,487 cut.

The Young Parent Support Program (part of 4800-0038): The overall line item was funded at $242,757,069, which is a $4.7 million or 2% cut. Language in the budget requires that the Department of Children and Family Services fund YPS, but the level of funding is at the discretion of DCF.

Healthy Families (3000-7000): Healthy Families is funded at $10.5 million, which is a 0.7% or $74,720 reduction.