Today, our state legislators demonstrated their true support of teen pregnancy prevention and teen parents. This afternoon the House Ways and Means Budget was released and overall, teen pregnancy related programs fared extremely well! You can check out the House Ways and Means Budget (HWM) for yourself and keep reading for a breakdown of proposed funding levels for each teen parent program. This excel spreadsheet provides an overview of the HWM budget, Governor Patrick’s proposed budget, and budgets from previous fiscal years. Thank you to all of you who advocated on behalf of these programs.
Teen Pregnancy-Related Program Funding Breakdown in HWM Budget:
- Teen Pregnancy Prevention (4530-9000): Teen Pregnancy Prevention was more or less level funded. The program is funded at $2,378,410 (a reduction of $19,917 or less than 1%).
- Young Parent Program (part of 4401-1000): YPP is level funded (at $3.2 million) in the House Ways and Means Budget! Language in the budget requires DTA to fund YPP at the FY11 level (“provided further, that the young parents program shall receive no less than the amount expended in the previous fiscal year”). Unfortunately, the overall ESP line item of which YPP is a part was significantly reduced from approximately $15 million to approximately $3.7 million (or 75%). The Alliance will support an ESP amendment to increase the overall funding, and urge legislators to do the same, although we will not be directly seeking an amendment. Please let us know of any ESP amendments, and we will keep you informed as we learn of further action in support of ESP.
- Teen Parent Child Care: Teen Parent Child Care is funded from two line items in the state budget, TANF Related Child Care 3000-4060 and Income Eligible Child Care 3000-4050. HWM increased funding for both accounts: TANF Related Child Care received an increase of approximately $6 million or 5%. Income Eligible Child Care received an increase of approximately $4 million or 2%.
- Teen Living Program (4403-2119): The Teen Living Program was funded at $6,577,740, which represents a very small increase in funding of .02%. This program was essentially level funded.
- Young Parent Support Program (part of 4800-0038): The overall account that includes YPS was funded at $242,507,069, which represents a reduction of approximately $5 million or 2%. Language in the budget requires that some funding be spent on YPS, but we cannot know exactly how much YPS would receive.
- Healthy Families (3000-7000): Healthy Families was funded at $10,463,346, which represents a small reduction of $74,720 or less than 1%. This program was essentially level funded.
The House Ways and Means Budget is just a proposed budget. The House will debate amendments to this budget during the week of April 25 before they finalize the House budget. Next we move onto the Senate - you can expect Senate advocacy alerts from us in the coming weeks. Your continued advocacy will be critical.
For now, be sure to thank your Representatives for supporting teen parent programs in the HWM budget! You can find your Representatives and their contact information here.
Thanks, again, for your advocacy!