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e : enotes@lists.ctvoices.org 15 February 2006 • 4:15AM -0500

[Enotes] New from CT Voices for Children: February 14 E-Notes
by Michael Sullivan

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E-Notes
Connecticut Voices for Children
February 14, 2006

HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!!

In this issue of E-Notes, you'll find:

A.  NEW PUBLICATIONS FROM CT VOICES
*  Getting Connecticut's Fiscal Ship In Order: 7 Reasons Why Connecticut's
Budget Still Has Problems, Despite Its Surplus & How to Address These
Problems
*  Quick Analyses of Governor Rell's FY 07 Proposed Budget
*  Connecticut Fiscal Facts
*  Pulling Apart in Connecticut: Trends in Family Income, 1981-2002
*  Do No Harm: Under-Funding Child Care Hurts Kids
*  Federal Budget Briefs
*  Emergency Care for Children in HUSKY A: CY 2004

B.  WATCH ONLINE VIDEO OF CT VOICES BUDGET FORUM


A.  NEW PUBLICATIONS FROM CT VOICES

1. Getting Connecticut's Fiscal Ship In Order: 7 Reasons Why
Connecticut's Budget Still Has Problems, Despite Its Surplus & How to
Address These Problems

This 21-page report provides context for the Governor's FY 07 proposed
budget.  It examines the reasons why Connecticut's budget still has problems
despite its surplus, including the state's reliance on one-time revenues, a
projected structural deficit by FY08, the under-funding of critical areas in
the current budget, large unfunded pension and health benefits, significant
bonded debt, and anticipated cuts in federal funds on which the state budget
relies.  It also makes recommendations for addressing these budget problems,
including avoidance of tax cuts based on temporary revenues, prudent use of
surplus funds, development of a comprehensive strategic plan for growth and
internal capacity for state planning, greater public investment in
education, health and infrastructure, and adjustments to the state's
spending cap.
http://www.ctkidslink.org/pub_detail_273.html


2.  Quick Analyses of Governor Rell's FY 07 Proposed Budget

These two-page briefs examine the impact of the Governor's proposed FY 07
budget on several key programs affecting children and families.  The briefs
outline recent trends in spending and state policy in these areas over the
last few years and examine whether, on balance, the Governor's proposed
investments in these areas represent an increase or a decrease from Fiscal
Year 2002 (the year the most recent deficit began).

Early Care
http://www.ctkidslink.org/pub_detail_276.html

Education
http://www.ctkidslink.org/pub_detail_274.html

HUSKY Program
http://www.ctkidslink.org/pub_detail_275.html
(Updated on Feb 14)

Low Income Supports and Family Economic Security
http://www.ctkidslink.org/pub_detail_277.html

Taxes
http://www.ctkidslink.org/pub_detail_282.html
(Please note that this February 14 version makes additions to a version
released on February 8.)

NOTE:  A much more detailed summary of the Governor's proposed spending and
revenue changes for FY 07 will be posted on our website (www.ctkidslink.org)
in the next several days.


3. Connecticut Fiscal Facts

This brief finds that sufficient revenues are essential to Connecticut's
economic future, that Connecticut's revenues are low to average and have
room to grow, that tax cuts funded by a temporary surplus should be
rejected, and that tax changes should be evaluated in accordance with
National Conference of State Legislature principles for a high quality
revenue system.
http://www.ctkidslink.org/pub_detail_279.html


4. Pulling Apart in Connecticut: Trends in Family Income, 1981-2002

This report on family income trends finds that the gap between wealthy and
poor Connecticut families is widening, and Connecticut is one of only two
states where income for the poorest families declined between 1991 and 2002.
While incomes for the poorest Connecticut families have stagnated in recent
years, wealthier families have seen their incomes increase by nearly
one-third, the sixth largest increase among all states.  Among the report's
recommendations is the creation of a state earned income tax credit (EITC).
http://www.ctkidslink.org/pub_detail_270.html


5. Do No Harm: Under-Funding Child Care Hurts Kids

This collection of engaging stories from parents and early care providers
describes how, no matter how you measure it - access, quality or
affordability - the early care and education system in Connecticut is
failing working parents and their children.  Yet all children in Connecticut
deserve affordable, accessible, safe, quality early care and education.
http://www.ctkidslink.org/pub_detail_272.html


6. Restoring Care 4 Kids to Meet TANF Reauthorization Requirements

Care 4 Kids, Connecticut's child care subsidy program, is a primary support
for families on Temporary Family Assistance (TFA), and essential to their
capacity to transition off of the program.  However, as this report
documents, a combination of factors predict an impending child care crisis
for Connecticut, unless addressed:
*   Care 4 Kids funding has consistently been cut.
*   Connecticut is relying more heavily on federal funds for child care.  
*   Much Care 4 Kids funding goes unspent and lapses back into the General
Fund.  
*   Care 4 Kids reimbursement rates are too low.  
*   The demand for child care, and therefore the need for child care
funding, is high and expected to increase.  
http://www.ctkidslink.org/pub_detail_280.html


7. Federal Budget Briefs

On February 1, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to approve a budget
reconciliation bill that cuts funding for  student loan, Medicaid, child
support and and foster care.  Representatives Larson, DeLauro, and Simmons
voted against the bill, and Representatives Johnson and Shays voted in
favor.  Despite these cuts, the federal deficit will increase, due to
concurrent enactment of tax cuts that disproportionately benefit the
wealthy.

A series of briefs from CT Voices, drafted prior to the final budget vote,
provide summaries of the impact of these budget cuts, as well as broader
context on the importance of federal funding to Connecticut residents and
the state budget.

*   Key U.S. House Budget Vote Expected on February 1, 2006
http://www.ctkidslink.org/pub_detail_271.html

*   8 Things Everyone Should Know About Congress' 2006 Budget
(Reconciliation) Conference Agreement
http://www.ctkidslink.org/pub_detail_268.html

*   Why the Federal Budget Matters to Connecticut
http://www.ctkidslink.org/pub_detail_269.html


8.        Emergency Care for Children in HUSKY A: CY 2004

This study finds that for the third year in a row, about one-third of
children enrolled in HUSKY A had emergency care in 2004.  Well-child care
was not associated with a reduction in the likelihood of ER visits.  This
finding may be related at least in part to the fact that asthma, one of the
leading reasons for ER visits, affects about 9 percent of children in HUSKY
A and is most prevalent among the younger children who are more likely to
have had emergency care.
http://www.ctkidslink.org/pub_detail_281.html


B.  WATCH ONLINE VIDEO OF CT VOICES' BUDGET FORUM

On January 12, CT Voices hosted the 5th Annual State Budget Forum:
Connecticut in the Global Economy: Challenges & Opportunities.  Courtesy of
the Connecticut Network, video of the full event can be viewed online.  You
can find video of this and other Voices events on our Video Library page:
http://www.ctkidslink.org/video.html

Featured speakers:
*     Robert Friedman, International Editor, Fortune Magazine
       "Are America's Children Ready to Compete in the Global Economy?"
*     Robert Genuario, Secretary, Office of Policy and Management
       "Connecticut's Economic & Budget Outlook"
*     Jacob Hacker, Yale Professor of Political Science
       "The Great Risk Shift: Increasing Burdens on Families"
*     Thomas Kahn, Minority Staff Director & Chief Counsel, U.S. House
Budget Committee
       "America's Budget Outlook & the Fiscal Health of the Nation"
       Introduced by Congressman John Larson
*     Responder panel of state legislators
       Sen. Toni Harp, Rep. Cam Staples & Rep. Diana Urban


------------------------------------
Connecticut Voices for Children
33 Whitney Ave
New Haven CT 06511
(203) 498-4240
http://www.ctkidslink.org
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