Virginia’s General Assembly faces a daunting challenge when it convenes on January 14th for the 2015 session: the Commonwealth faces a $2.4 billion shortfall in this biennium. For the last several years, Voices has advocated that funding for programs and services that benefit children be restored to pre-recession levels in many areas; however, those gains are now at risk of being reversed.
In addition, we have successfully advocated that new resources be allocated to targeted, evidence-based policy changes that benefit children in the foster care system and those with mental health disorders. At this precarious time, these gains also have the potential to be rolled back.
Along with other partners in the human services advocacy sector and an increasing chorus of bipartisan legislators, Voices is calling on the General Assembly to consider changes to the revenue side of the budget that invest in children as the future of Virginia’s workforce and thriving economy.
As we do each year, Voices has put together our legislative slate for the coming year–in it, we detail in each of our content areas–children’s health and mental health, child welfare and foster care, early childhood care & education, and family economic success–our specific priority issues towards which we will direct our advocacy during the legislative session.
You’ll no doubt notice some common themes: prevention; early intervention; the protection of basic needs like health care, housing and education; and ensuring that gains in the health and human resources sectors are not lost or underfunded.
We welcome your feedback and questions, and we especially need your help as community advocates! For more information about opportunities to speak in support, both during the budget hearings around the state on January 7th and during the General Assembly session, please reach out to us!
For child welfare, foster care, juvenile justice, and family economic success, contact Amy Woolard: firstname.lastname@example.org
For early childhood care & education, contact Emily Griffey: email@example.com
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