There is just over one week left of deliberations for the FY 20-21 state operating budget. Yesterday, in an exciting demonstration of bipartisanship, the Ohio Senate passed their version of the budget bill unanimously. Conference Committee, which consists of members of the House, Senate, and Administration, now convenes to work on developing the final version of the budget to be passed by both chambers of the legislature and signed by the Governor before July 1, 2019.
Between now and July 1, Groundwork will continue working to ensure investments that support healthy development and early learning for young children are included in the final budget. Here's what we'll be keeping an eye out for:
Maintain all current appropriations for publicly funded child care (including the $10 million for Quality Infrastructure Grants that was introduced in the Senate) and maintain a “hold harmless” ensuring no child care provider will experience a rate cut when reimbursement rates are updated effective July 1, 2019.
Restore the $10 million in each FY 20 and 21 that was cut from Help Me Grow in the Senate’s version of the budget for a total biennial appropriation of $90 million.
Maintain increased support for children services including the Governor’s and House’s increased appropriations for county children services agencies and the Senate-restored set-aside for the kinship caregiver program.
Part C Early Intervention
Maintain the increased appropriation for Part C Early Intervention that was introduced in the Governor’s budget and sustained in the House and Senate to support automatic eligibility for children who have tested positive for lead and babies with neonatal abstinence syndrome.
Maintain the lead abatement tax credit and earmark funding for the Lead-Safe Home Fund pilot program. Transfer Management of the Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (RRP) from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to the Ohio Department of Health.
Invest $1.1 million in Ohio’s preparedness for the 2020 Census to support communications and outreach in our hard-to-count communities and prevent the undercount of children.
We will be sure to share an update once we know what is included in the final budget. Keep an eye on your inbox and social media for additional updates before Monday, July 1st!
Advocates & Policymakers Celebrate 40 Years of Child Health Progress and Look Toward the Future
This week, policymakers and child health experts from around the state convened for Akron Children's Hospital's 2019 Child Advocacy Summit to celebrate CEO Emeritus Bill Considine's 40 years of service to the hospital and to child advocacy in Ohio. Groundwork Executive Director Shannon Jones joined our Vote for Ohio Kids partner Nick Lashutka, President of the Ohio Children's Hospital Association, on a panel discussing our state's progress on children's health advocacy over the past 40 years.
Other Summit speakers included Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN's Chief Medical Correspondent; J.D. Vance, New York Times bestselling author of Hillbilly Elegy; and Governor Mike DeWine, who discussed the ways Ohio's FY 20-21 budget will benefit children.
We look forward to continuing to work with such incredible partners toward improved access and quality of child health services in the years to come. Read more about the event.