Thursday, March 23, 2023

Play

A proposed flavored tobacco ban is back on the table in Minnesota, Trump attorney Evan Corcoran must testify in the documents probe, and a "clean slate" bill in Missouri would make "expungement" automatic.

Play

The Fed raises interest rates and reassures the banking system is sound, Norfolk Southern reaffirms a commitment to the people of East Palestine, and TikTok creators gather at the Capitol to support free expression.

Play

Finding childcare is a struggle everywhere, prompting North Carolina's Transylvania County to try a new approach. Maine is slowly building-out broadband access, but disagreements remain over whether local versus national companies should get the contracts, and specialty apps like "Farmers Dating" help those in small communities connect online.

State Budget Cuts Put $13 Million in Child, Family Money "At Risk"

Play

Friday, February 28, 2014   

CHARLESTON, W. Va. - Advocates for early-childhood and family-support programs have delivered a symbolic $13 million check to West Virginia lawmakers - money they say could be lost if the state goes ahead with budget cuts.

The state support for these programs allows them to leverage $13 million a year in federal and charity money. Del. Nancy Peoples Guthrie, D-Kanawha, said her peers on the House Finance Committee hadn't realized how much outside funding the programs bring into West Virginia. But now, she said, the committee is scrounging to find ways to avoid the cuts.

"To cut them and have them lose federal dollars as a result of a cut that we would make, it doesn't make any sense," she said. "I think that when we made that case, they hadn't thought about it."

The programs offer services such as child-abuse prevention and home visitation for families at risk.

Greg Puckett, executive director of Community Connections, the Mercer County Family Resource Network, said that while lawmakers talk about problems such as substance abuse and kids in unhealthy home environments, his team is in the trenches, where those problems all tie together. Puckett said these programs are some of the best ways to address them.

"If we come back in and work with our local legislators and increase the capacity of our economic development, then we can actually reduce substance abuse," he said. "And we can give families hope and we can give families opportunity."

If the programs have to cut back, Puckett said, a lot of people will lose a last resort. He cited one current case, of a woman his agency just helped when she couldn't afford a home repair project.

"I had a lady call me in my office, and she said, 'I don't have a door on my trailer.' It's one of those things where they know to call us," he said. "When those services are extremely limited anyway, then these people are not going to have a place to turn."

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's budget blueprint would cut nearly $1 million next year from these and related programs. Tomblin has cited reduced tax revenue as causing a big budget gap, although critics say much of it is due to tax cuts.


get more stories like this via email

In 2020, 35% of Idaho mothers had Medicaid at the time of their child's birth. (WavebreakMediaMicro/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

With concerning trends emerging for pregnant and postpartum women, frustration is growing that Idaho lawmakers could end the session without …


Health and Wellness

Health advocates are promoting a package of bills this legislative session to make health care easier to get - and more affordable. The Care 4 All …

Social Issues

A new study from the University of New Hampshire found New England's LGBTQ+ residents experience higher rates of food insufficiency, the measure of …


According to the Center for American Progress, nearly nine in 10 employers, four in five landlords, and three in five colleges use background checks to screen for applicants' criminal records. (Yurii Kibalnik/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

A large percentage of Missourians who could to have their criminal records "expunged" have not done so, despite the effects expungement -- referred …

Social Issues

A person's work personnel file can be important to review, but some Washingtonians are finding them hard to obtain. A bill in Olympia would ensure …

The most recent Farm Bill covered areas such as agricultural conservation, trade and foreign food assistance, farm credit and research. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

The U.S. Farm Bill is up for reauthorization, and Congress faces calls to avoid any delays so certain programs can keep helping farmers and consumers …

Social Issues

Youth advocates continue to sound the alarm over the impact flavored tobacco products have on teenagers, and hope Minnesota lawmakers take another …

Environment

As wildfire seasons in Colorado and across the American West become longer, less predictable and increasingly destructive, a new report aims to …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021