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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Reforming how IL Services are administered in Ohio

Definition of "tenacious:" Persistent in maintaining, adhering to, or seeking something valued or desired.
Ohio FCAA members need to be tenacious right now.

Breaking News: Governor Strickland VETOED the Independent Living Initiative.

Item Number 40
On page 2900, delete the boxed text.
Section 309.45.15 Earmark for Independent Living... Read More

Quote: "This provision earmarks $1.5 million of the Children and Family Services line item for independent living services to youth. The majority of the funds in this line item are already allocated to county agencies for their use to support child welfare programs, including independent living. This earmark will constrain the county agencies ability to use the allocated funds in a flexible manner that meets each county's needs to support children. For these reasons, a veto is in the public interest."

This is not a defeat; this is a 'Call to Action'
Regardless of whether or not this financial earmark was maintained, we still needed to follow up regarding how Independent Living funds were administered and whether available Independent Living funds were spent.

Our work was worth it, and our continued efforts are needed!

What do we have now, that we didn't at the beginning of this budget process?
Ohio legislators know who we are, and care about our cause. We gave a voice to a voiceless population - and they listened.

Please note that during our "Call to Arms" about this issue, we have no beef with Ohio Senators and Representatives - we have only heartfelt appreciation. Ohio legislators, in the Senate and the House, both Democrat and Republican, asked insightful questions each time we testified, and in each of their versions, they maintained IL funding.

Throughout this entire process, Ohio legislators have never let us down. The Ohio House of Representatives, Senate and HB 1 Conference Committee all maintained IL funding, and we sill need to write and thank them.

Because of our testimony, House Finance Chairman Representative Vernon Sykes is forming a Foster Care-Independent Study Committee to develop legislative and funding recommendations on funding for IL services for foster youth.

Our 'Next Steps' remain the same:
1. Thank our legislators and invite them to be a part of Rep. Sykes' IL committee
2. Be a part of Rep. Sykes' Independent Living committee
3. Work to establish a Regional approach to Independent Living preparation
4. Enlist our allies in supporting and being a part of our cause.
5. Build a relationship with Ohio journalists.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

I can't help but wonder why we are balancing Ohio's budget on the backs of its children.