The Senate Ways and Means Committee (SWM) released its proposed fiscal year 2012 budget this afternoon. Massachusetts faces a budget gap of nearly $2 billion, an absence of stimulus dollars and growing non-discretionary spending obligations. Given these challenges, teen pregnancy prevention and teen parent programs fared very well in the SWM budget. Please see below for SWM outcomes for each program. You can also view the actual SWM budget on the legislature’s website. Thank you to all of you who advocated for these critical programs!
- Teen Pregnancy Prevention is currently funded at $2,398,327 and SWM proposes to fund it at $2,402,347 (an increase of $4,020 or .2%).
- Young Parent Program (part of Employment Services Program 4401-1000): The overall Employment Services Program (ESP) account is funded at $4,279,933. This would be a reduction of $10.7 million or 71%. There is language that ensures YPP receive funding, however the Department of Transitional Assistance would determine at what level to fund YPP. The language also limits funding to three other programs in addition to YPP. The Alliance is seeking an amendment that would ensure level funding to YPP, increase the overall funding level for ESP (to the level proposed in the final House FY12 budget) and remove the language that limits funding to four programs. Please stay tuned for an advocacy alert tomorrow on how to advocate in support of this amendment. We will only have about 24 hours to get other Senators to co-sponsor.
- Teen Parent Child Care: Teen Parent Child Care is funded through the TANF Related Child Care and Income Eligible Child Care accounts. TANF Related Child Care is funded at $132,458,313, which would be a 4% INCREASE in funding. Income Eligible Child Care is funded at $227,965,287, which would be a 2.4% reduction.
- Teen Living Shelter Program (4403-2119): TLP is funded at $6,436,708, which is a reduction of $139,868 or 2%. We are seeking an amendment to restore funding to the current fiscal year 2011 level. Please stay tuned for an advocacy alert tomorrow on how to advocate in support of this amendment. We will only have about 24 hours to get other Senators to co-sponsor.
- Young Parent Support Program (part of Children and Family Services 4800-0038): Children and Family Services is funded at $242,173,947, which would be a reduction of approximately $5 million or 2%. There is language requiring that YPS receive some funding, but the amount of funding would be at the discretion of the Department of Children and Family Services.
- Healthy Families (3000-7000): Healthy Families is funded at $10,482,355, which would be a reduction of $55,711 or .5%.