Voices’ Blog

Speak up at state budget hearings on Jan. 4!

Posted:  -  By: Voices for VA's Kids

January 4, 2013 is the time to let the state legislators know that children are our priority! They need to hear from us about the continuing need for children’s mental health services, home visiting for vulnerable families, and early intervention services for infants and toddlers.

The budget hearings are held in 5 locations around the state on that day, with a panel of legislators attending each one. It is a great opportunity to speak out about the devastating consequences to children and families when we do not invest in children’s well-being.

Top 5 reasons to testify at a budget hearing:

5. You only have to speak for 3 minutes or less.

4. You will not be asked any questions, so no need to fear getting a question you can’t answer!

3. You will be given talking points ahead of time, and there will be a Voices for Virginia’s Children staff member at each hearing to provide support.

2. Your comments can help shape the state budget for the next year as it pertains to children’s services.

1. Speaking out educates our legislators, reduces the stigma of mental health disorders and developmental delays, and helps make Virginia a better place to live for kids and their families!

So where are the hearings?

Manassas – Friday, January 4, 2013 at 10:00 a.m.: Hylton Performing Arts Center, George Mason University, Prince William Campus
Middletown – Friday, January 4, 2013 at 12:00 noon: Lord Fairfax Community College, Corron Community Development Center
Virginia Beach – Friday, January 4, 2013 at 12:00 noon: Tidewater Community College, Advanced Technology Center Theater
Roanoke – Friday, January 4, 2013 at 12:00 noon: Virginia Western Community College, Business Science Building, Whitman Theater
Richmond Area – Friday, January 4, 2013 at 12:00 noon: Virginia State University, Virginia Hall, Anderson-Turner Auditorium

Voices and the Campaign for Children’s Mental Health are currently recruiting volunteers who are willing to testify at one of these hearings. Again, we will provide talking points and tips for you ahead of time. We need folks to talk about the importance of community-based crisis services and child psychiatry for children’s mental health, the need to restore funding to the evidence-based home visiting programs of CHIP and Healthy Families, and the need to fully fund Part C Early Intervention services so that babies are not put on waiting lists. We also need volunteers to stand in line for the speakers to register them—so if you want to help but don’t want to speak, this is a job for you!

Please contact policy director Margaret Nimmo Crowe for more information and to volunteer: margaret@vakids.org. Thank you!

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