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CCC’s 2019 Advocacy Day: Fighting For New York Children

Staff from Citizens’ Committee for Children and more than two dozen adult and youth volunteers were in Albany February 27 to introduce our 2020 state budget priorities to key legislators and their staff.

We split in groups and fanned out throughout the state capital. Among our core policy and budget priorities, CCC advocated to restore resources for at-risk youth, child welfare prevention and foster care, and to protect and expand access to Early Intervention and behavioral health services for children. We also expressed our support for new initiatives to secure investments in services and subsidies that combat family homelessness, expand protections for court-involved youth, and ensure that tax relief benefits New York’s lowest income households, among others.

In all, we organized more than 20 meetings to fight for programs that would take steps toward ensuring all children are healthy, housed, educated, and safe.

Check out a full list of 2020 state budget priorities below.

CCC's Youth Action Members prepare for a meeting in Albany.

CCC’s Youth Action Members prepare for a meeting in Albany.

Healthy

  • Improve outcomes for young children with disabilities and developmental delays: Extend a 5% rate increase above current rates to ALL Early Intervention providers, evaluators, and service coordinators; maximize EI reim­bursement from private health insurance companies; and conduct a cost study on Early Intervention rate methodology.
  • Increase access to children’s behavioral health services: Extend new Children and Family Treatment and Support Services (CFTSS) to children covered through Child Health Plus, and authorize the state to extend enhanced rates for CFTSS services beyond the first six months.
  • Protect vulnerable New York children and families: Reject $59 million annualized cut to New York City’s General Public Health Work Program.
  • Improve maternal, infant and child outcomes: Increase state investments for evidence-based maternal, infant and early childhood home visiting programs.
  • Protect children from lead exposure: Increase funding to ensure local health departments have ade­quate resources to implement proposed initiatives to reduce childhood exposure to lead. Fund initiatives through lead poisoning prevention programs in local health departments, rather than through Article 6 as is currently proposed.

Housed

  • Prevent shelter entry and eviction: Pass A.1620/S.2375 to create home stability support supplement programs that would provide a statewide rental supplement to reduce family homelessness.
  • Prevent homelessness among domestic violence survivors: Invest in Rapid Rehousing for Domestic Violence Survivors to combat a driving force in the state’s homelessness crisis with a HUD-approved model that connects families with permanent housing and support services.
  • Protect housing stability for low-income New Yorkers: Enact rent control laws that eliminate current rent loopholes and invest in enforcement to prevent the loss of affordable and rent-regulated apartments.
  • Promote housing stability for families and youth involved in child welfare system: Increase housing subsidy from $300 to $600, increase the upper age limit eligibility to 24 years of age and allow flexibility to use subsidy with roommates.

Educated

  • Expand subsidized child care capacity: Invest $100M for additional child care subsidies to serve a greater number of eligible children and families.
  • Improve school readiness for ALL young children: Invest $150M to expand and enhance Universal Pre- Kindergarten (UPK).
  • Improve outcomes for preschoolers with disability and developmental delays: Increase reimbursement rates by at least 5% for preschool special education programs.
  • Protect the rights of students with disabilities and their families: Oppose the proposal to allow school districts to seek waivers from special education requirements.
  • Improve educational outcomes in high-need school districts: Increase Foundation Aid by $1.66B.
  • Increase access to college for foster care youth: Invest $6M to fully fund the Foster Youth College Initiative.

Safe

  • Address the needs of at-risk youth and protect them from harm: Amend Article VII bill to reimburse counties for ALL PINS prevention and diversion services through the open-ended child welfare funding stream and allow PINS youth to be placed with the Commissioner (in foster care) when the court determines it is necessary.
  • Strengthen families: To meet criteria for Federal funding (Family First) and invest in evidence-based preventive services, restore preventive services funding from 62% state share back to 65%, as written in state statute.
  • Expand protections for emerging adults: Strengthen existing protections under youthful offender law and create a new “Young Adult Status” covering youth up to age 25.
  • End prosecution of children under 12: Raise the minimum age of juvenile delinquency jurisdiction from 7 to 12 years of age.
  • Remove barriers to education and employment for court-involved youth: Expand sealing opportunities and reduce the wait time to 3 years for misdemeanors and 5 years for felonies (instead of 10 years).
  • Improve economic security for NY families: Expand the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) to young adults without children ages 18–25 and expand the Empire State Child Credit to include children under the age of 4— an age group disproportionately at risk of poverty.

(Download a full list of our priorities here.)

CCC's Director of Policy for Child and Adolescent Health Alice Bufkin (right) meets with legislative aides in Albany.

CCC’s Director of Policy for Child and Adolescent Health Alice Bufkin (right) meets with legislative aides in Albany.


Maintaining Pressure On Albany

Advocacy Day was a continuation of our efforts to raise our voices about the our priorities in the state budget conversation. CCC has submitted three testimonies to the state legislator opposing the cuts to child welfare programs in the budget.

First, we spoke out against the proposal to cut reimbursement ratesto family assistance programs by 10% only in New York City. In a second testimony, we stood strongly against proposed cuts to New York City’s public health system, and the budget’s failure to invest in important home visiting programs. And finally, we submitted a third testimony that included a call to ensure successful implementation of new behavioral health services for children and adolescents, and provide increased access to treatment, support, and developmental services.

Also, we have sent out the first of many e-action emails to our supports calling for them to write key legislatures and voice their opposition to these cuts. The calls to action sent out so far were calls to fully fund early intervention and preschool special education and another to call for full funding of the state’s PINS program.

Stay in touch as we continue to fight for the programs that are important to the lives of New York’s children!

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  • RAMIK WILLIAMS says:

    Thank you for continuing your vital advocacy and communication work. As a practitioner I have utilized your resources and shared the information with other stakeholders.

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