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Statement of CCC Executive Director, Jennifer March, in response to the Assembly and Senate One House Bills for State Fiscal Year 2018-2019

While Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York (CCC) applauds the New York State Assembly for passing a One House Budget bill that protects and supports New York’s children and families in every part of the state, CCC is disappointed that the Senate One House Bill did not reject many of the harmful proposals in the Governor’s proposed budget.

The Assembly One House bill both restores harmful cuts proposed by the Governor’s Executive Budget and includes critical investments to improve the lives of New Yorkers.  Specifically, we thank the Assembly for rejecting the proposed cap and cut to child welfare services, including child protective services and child abuse and neglect prevention services, and for restoring all funding for the Close to Home juvenile justice placement program in New York City.  In addition, the Assembly’s One House Budget ensures all counties, including New York City would be reimbursed for expenses related to raising the age of criminal responsibility.  Furthermore, the Assembly One House Budget includes $15 million to expand children’s access to behavioral health services and all $6 million needed for the Foster Youth Success College Initiative.  We were also pleased to see the Assembly One House budget include $15 million for a three-year pilot program to support shelter allowances to prevent homelessness in New York City and Rochester.

While the Senate One House Bill includes language ensuring all counties will be reimbursed for expenses associates with raising the age of criminal responsibility, the Senate Majority accepted with prejudice the proposals to cap and cut child welfare services and eliminate all $41.4 million in state funding for NYC’s juvenile justice placement program, Close to Home.  We were pleased to see that the Senate One House bill did include funding to create a Home Stability Support rental assistance program and added $7.5 million to children’s behavioral health services.

In accepting the harmful cuts to child welfare and juvenile justice services in NYC, the Senate resolution did state: “The Senate expresses concern over the impact these actions will have on New York City’s ability to provide these services and urges the Executive, in the strongest terms, to reconsider these misguided actions.”

CCC is very concerned too.  We urge the Governor and the Legislature to adopt a budget without a cap to NYC’s child welfare services, that also restores funding for Close to Home, ensures all counties are reimbursed for raise the age expenses, adds $15 million for children’s behavioral health, includes $6 million for the Foster Youth Success College Initiative, and includes a Home Stability Support rental assistance program.

Citizens’ Committee for Children is an independent multi‐issue child advocacy organization whose mission is to ensure every New York City Child is healthy, housed, educated and safe. For more information on CCC, visit cccnewyork.org.

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