by Brigit Hurley, Senior Director of Advocacy and Program & Larry Marx, CEO, The Children’s Agenda
Thanks to you, 6,000 members of our online Advocacy Network, and coalitions of dozens of organizations statewide, the New York State Assembly and Senate passed five important bills supporting our community’s children. The Children’s Agenda advocated for them all in visits to legislators with parents directly affected by the issues, data analysis, testimony at hearings, and hours on Zoom calls strategizing with our advocacy partners. Now we are counting on (and advocating for) Governor Cuomo to sign all five into law, including:
- Child Poverty Reduction Act (A1160-C/S2755-C) makes New York the first in the nation to formally establish a state goal to cut child poverty in half in ten years, calling out the policy options and establishing the accountability measures to support reaching the goal. You can urge the Governor to sign this into law by clicking here.
- Covered Lives for Early Intervention (A5339/S5560-A) establishes a new $40 million revenue stream to expand timely access to Early Intervention services for infants and toddlers with developmental delays and disabilities.
- Preschool and School-Age Special Education School Payment Parity (A8013/S6516-A) ensures that children with developmental delays or disabilities receive rate increases for their education commensurate with the level of support for public schools in the annual state budget.
- Child Care Availability Task Force (A7721-A/S7128) Extending the Task Force allows The Children’s Agenda and other advocates to monitor the implementation of its recommendations and the state’s use of the landmark federal stimulus funds.
- Child Care Direct Deposit Bill (A5840-A/S5162-A) The direct deposit helps modernize provider payments without unnecessary delays, and likely saves counties money in administration.
Medicaid, maternal and child health funding: Also of note is that New York State Medicaid has agreed to fund the expansion of home visiting screens for mothers and newborns in Monroe and Chemung counties. Our regional funding arm for Medicaid reform, the Finger Lakes Performing Provider System, will also likely fund expansion of maternal and child health programs locally, too.
Please take action to urge Governor Cuomo to sign these bills into law. We are deeply grateful to you for speaking up for children and youth, who depend on all of us to be their voice in Albany.