The Children’s Campaign released their 2012 platform on January 10, in conjuction with the reconvening of the Florida legislature. Recommendations in the platform include a restoration of the $5.4 million cut from Healthy to Start last year and maximizing federal dollars for the Florida KidCare program.
The platform focuses on maintaining funding and programs, as the state is facing another budget shortfall this year. The Campaign, a Tallahassee-based nonprofit that focuses on five areas of childrens issues.
Highlights from the platform include:
Promise 1 – Child Health Care
- Birth Healthy Babies. Stabilize existing funding, restore cuts suffered in 2011, and increase support when the economy recovers to ensure babies are born healthy and developproperly. – $5.4 million (current), estimated $33 million (future cost) added to current base
- Expand Medicaid eligibility for pregnant women to 200% of the poverty level, ensuring prenatal care for the unborn child.
- Maximize federal dollars in support of Florida KidCare, increase enrollment and decrease disenrollment.
- Allow for state employees and the children of immigrants who are lawfully present to enroll their children in KidCare.
Promise 2 – Child Welfare:
- Stabilize funding for Healthy Families, a proven child neglect and abuse prevention model. Restore cuts suffered during the 2010 legislative session. – $9.3 million added to current base
Promise 3 — Child Care & Early Learning:
- Immediately protect the per pupil funding level from future cuts, restore past cuts and in the future increase overall investment in pre-k program when funds are available. – $30-million to restore cuts to current VPK funding
Promise 4 — Before and After School
- Protect the public and personal safety of children while parents are at work. Dedicate a state funding source sufficient to meet the needs for Before and After-school programs while holding child care harmless from budget cuts.
Promise 5 — Juvenile Justice Reform:
- Develop and introduce legislation supporting The At Risk Girls Education Training (TARGET) Certificate Program, which provides gender-specific training and education for girls at risk.