State legislative sessions are underway around the country, and advocates are busy at work seeking policy wins for children. Here are updates on several state policy advocacy efforts this week:
- Nebraska – Foster Care: Foster youth from Project Everlast testified in support of Bridge to Independence legislation (LB 853) to provide a safety net to support youth transitioning out of foster care.
- New Mexico – Minimum Wage: New Mexico Voices for Children released a report, Raising the New Mexico Minimum Wage: Helping Those Who Need it Most. Advocates are supporting a minimum wage constitutional amendment (SJR-13), which has passed the Senate Rules Committee.
- Virginia – Pre-K: Voices for Virginia’s Children calls for budget amendment to avoid the elimination of 892 Virginia Preschool Initiative slots for at-risk 4-year-olds in 13 communities. Extending a hold harmless provision in a change in the funding formula for VPI would enable these at-risk children to continue to be served.
- Maryland – Child Care and Pre-K: The Maryland Family Network sponsored a rally and stroller brigade of parents and children in Annapolis in support of child care subsidies and pre-K expansion legislation. The pre-K expansion proposal would expand eligibility for low-income children served to 300 percent of the poverty threshold, up from 185 percent of poverty.