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e : enotes@lists.ctvoices.org 17 March 2006 • 12:34AM -0500

[Enotes] New from CT Voices for Children: March 16 E-Notes
by Michael Sullivan

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E-Notes
Connecticut Voices for Children
March 16, 2006

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

A. CT VOICES UPDATE
B.  NEW PUBLICATIONS FROM CT VOICES
*  It's Past Time to Put our Fiscal House in Order
*  The Governor's Proposed FY 07 Midterm Budget Adjustments: Highlights & A
Contextual Analysis
*  The Federal Budget Matters to Connecticut: The Impact of 2006 and 2007
Budget Cuts
*  Federal Fiscal Year 06 Tax Cuts & Federal Fiscal Year 07 Tax Proposals
*  Restoring Care 4 Kids to Meet TANF Reauthorization Requirements
*  Child Care Center Operating Budget Basics: Defining Expenses and Revenues
to Estimate the Cost of Child Care
*  Greater Effectiveness at a Lower Cost: Helping Abused and Neglected
Children
*  How is the HUSKY Program Performing?
*  Child Health and Health Care Disparities in HUSKY A in 2004
*  Child Well-Being Data by Town: 2006
*  Pulling Apart in Connecticut: Trends in Family Income, 1981-2002 -
Executive Summary
*  Family Assets Scorecard 2005 - Executive Summary
*  Updates to analyses of Governor's budget
C.  YOUTH SPIRIT AWARDS: YOUR NOMINATIONS & SAVE THE DATE
D.  YOUTH & DEMOCRACY FORUM IN APRIL


A.  CT VOICES UPDATE

CT Voices welcomes Michael Bangser to its Board of Directors.  Mike was, for
many years, President of the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving and,
before that, General Counsel for MDRC.  We also welcome a new wee "voice" -
Erin Borges -- the weeks-old daughter of Kameo Parks, who is helping CT
Voices on its Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative.


B.  NEW PUBLICATIONS FROM CT VOICES

1.  It's Past Time to Put our Fiscal House in Order

This brief suggests ways that Connecticut can avoid past fiscal mistakes,
including by addressing the state's reliance on one-time revenues, its
structural deficit, continued under-funding of essential programs,
increasing debt and unfunded pension and non-pension liabilities, declining
federal funding, and an inadequate rainy day fund.  It includes several
recommendations and urges rapid action to get our fiscal house in order
before the Baby Boomer generation begins to retire.
http://www.ctkidslink.org/pub_detail_289.html


2.  The Governor's Proposed FY 07 Midterm Budget Adjustments: Highlights & A
Contextual Analysis

This 42-page report on the Governor's proposed FY 07 Midterm Budget
Adjustments has two parts. The first looks at the Governor's proposed FY 07
spending revisions, overall as well as in key agencies impacting the lives
of Connecticut's children and families. It places proposed spending in some
historical context, comparing proposed spending to spending in the current
fiscal year (FY 06) and to the fiscal year when Connecticut's most recent
recession began (FY 02).  The report documents that the budgets of a number
of state agencies remains less than they were in FY 02 (not even adjusting
for inflation). The second part of this report reviews proposed changes in
revenues over the same time periods.
http://www.ctkidslink.org/pub_detail_283.html


3.  The Federal Budget Matters to Connecticut: The Impact of 2006 and 2007
Budget Cuts

This brief outlines the damaging impact of federal budget cuts made in the
FY 2006 budget, as well as the potential impact of President Bush's proposed
FY 2007 budget on Connecticut. Connecticut ranks as the 14th hardest hit
among all states in the President's budget proposal. These cuts mean, for
example, that in 2011, Connecticut's funding for education will be cut by
more than 8%, child care by more than 14%, and low-income energy assistance
by 29%.
http://www.ctkidslink.org/pub_detail_286.html


4.  Federal Fiscal Year 06 Tax Cuts & Federal Fiscal Year 07 Tax Proposals

The U.S. House and Senate remain in conference to work out the differences
between their competing FY 2006 tax bills. It is anticipated that the
conference agreement will be released and voted upon this month.  The
President's budget calls for making permanent most of the tax cuts enacted
since 2001. The benefits of such a proposal would be highly skewed to the
highest income taxpayers: 20% of the benefits would go to the top 0.3% of
the population - households with income of more than $1 million.
http://www.ctkidslink.org/pub_detail_287.html


5.  Restoring Care 4 Kids to Meet TANF Reauthorization Requirements

This brief finds that 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 need for child care funding is high, and expected to increase.
http://www.ctkidslink.org/pub_detail_280.html


6.  Child Care Center Operating Budget Basics: Defining Expenses and
Revenues to Estimate the Cost of Child Care

While the Connecticut early care and education industry is a large and
important one, many child care centers struggle to make ends meet and there
is limited data available on the costs of running a child care center
business.   CT Voices for Children
*  Has produced a user-friendly operating budget spreadsheet for child care
centers
*  Plans to use this model budget to collect information from Connecticut
child care centers, establishing a longitudinal data set that reflects the
annual budgets of child care centers; and
*  Will use the collected data in a validity check against the Tool for
Comparing Early Care and Education Program Costs, a "calculator" developed
to estimate the operating costs associated with running a child care center.
A brief describing this project and the model budget worksheet are on the CT
Voices Web site:
http://www.ctkidslink.org/pub_detail_284.html


7.  Greater Effectiveness at a Lower Cost: Helping Abused and Neglected
Children

This brief finds that by shifting our child welfare service investments into
integrated, community-based, and "front end" preventive services, we'll get
better results for kids, and at a lower cost. Other steps needed to support
children and youth in DCF care include ensuring high quality legal
representation in child protection hearings, establishing more flexible
federal funding rules that encourage state innovation, and supporting youth
as they "age out" of foster care.
http://www.ctkidslink.org/pub_detail_290.html


8.  How is the HUSKY Program Performing?

The public health implications of the HUSKY program's performance in
providing health care are wide reaching, since HUSKY is responsible for
providing health care for about one in four children and youth in the state,
as well as 90,000 parents and pregnant women. To help ensure that HUSKY
members are getting the services they need and that state dollars are being
spent wisely, CT Voices monitors the health care services that children
enrolled in HUSKY A (Medicaid managed care) are receiving. This brief
summarizes findings on the performance of HUSKY health plans in the areas of
outpatient care, dental care, asthma-related care, prenatal care, low
birthweight and preterm births, and smoking during pregnancy.  The report
finds that, although the managed care plans are paid millions of dollars, in
advance, to provide health care to children who are enrolled, many children
are failing to receive the health care to which they are entitled under
federal law.
http://www.ctkidslink.org/pub_detail_288.html


9.  Child Health and Health Care Disparities in HUSKY A in 2004

This annual report on racial and ethnic disparities in health care for
children enrolled in HUSKY A (Medicaid managed care) finds that African
American children are less likely than White children to have had any office
or clinic visits and preventive dental care. Results for Hispanic children
were mixed. African American and Hispanic children were more likely to have
had asthma.
http://www.ctkidslink.org/pub_detail_285.html


10.  Child Well-Being Data by Town: 2006

This data sheet includes town-level data on child and family well-being,
including children in poverty, median family income, unemployment rates,
children enrolled in HUSKY, preschool attendance, dropout rates,
homeownership, and children with all parents working.
http://www.ctkidslink.org/pub_detail_291.html


11.  Pulling Apart in Connecticut: Trends in Family Income, 1981-2002 -
Executive Summary

This report on 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 (adjusted for inflation) declined
between 1991 and 2002. The report was released in January, but a new
executive summary is now available.
http://www.ctkidslink.org/pub_detail_270.html


12.  Family Assets Scorecard 2005 - Executive Summary

While Connecticut ranks among the top states on measures on net family worth
and educational achievement, disparities in family assets on the basis of
race, income, and gender threaten Connecticut's economic strength and
quality of life. The report, released by CT Voices last year, has a new
executive summary.
http://www.ctkidslink.org/pub_detail_240.html


13.  Updates to analyses of Governor's budget

In February, on the day that the Governor's proposed budget was released, CT
Voices produced analyses of several areas of the budget.  Since the initial
analyses, some have been updated to incorporate additional information or
for corrections:

*   The Early Care and Education Budget in Context: An Analysis of the
Governor's Proposed FY 07 Budget
http://www.ctkidslink.org/pub_detail_276.html

*   Connecticut Taxes in Context: An Analysis of the Governor's Proposed FY
07 Budget
http://www.ctkidslink.org/pub_detail_282.html

*   The HUSKY Program Budget in Context: An Analysis of the Governor's
Proposed FY 07 Budget
http://www.ctkidslink.org/pub_detail_275.html


C.  YOUTH SPIRIT AWARDS: YOUR NOMINATIONS & SAVE THE DATE

Nominations are being accepted until March 31 for the 10th Annual Youth
Spirit Awards.  These awards, first started by Connecticut Voices for
Children, are now co-sponsored by a number of organizations including the
United Way of Connecticut.  The event will take place on Wednesday, May 17th
at 4:30 at the Lyceum, 227 Lawrence Street in Hartford.

The goal of the Youth Spirit Awards is to honor young people (ages 14-18)
from diverse backgrounds who have shown an extraordinary ability to rise
above difficult circumstances and give back to the community.  Each year,
several Connecticut youth are selected as role models for the community.
Now in its 10th year, the Youth Spirit Awards ceremony is a highly
anticipated event. If you know of a young person who meets the criteria for
the Award, please nominate him or her.

The nomination form and more details are available on the CT Voices Web
site. Nominations are due by March 31, 2006.
http://www.ctkidslink.org/announcement_44.html


D.  YOUTH & DEMOCRACY FORUM IN APRIL

CT Voices for Children is pleased to join Democracy Works and several other
organizations in co-sponsoring the Second Annual Youth & Democracy Forum.

WHEN:     Saturday, April 8, 2006, 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
WHERE:   North Lobby of the State Capitol, Hartford, CT

The forum is for young people ages 18 to 24 who are interested in learning
more about civic engagement.  The forum will feature speakers on the topic
of youth civic engagement, as well as a "civic mall" consisting of
informational booths so that agencies from across the state can distribute
information and giveaways to engage young people.  The mall will enable
young people to gain knowledge of various youth organizations, as well as
provide them with the opportunity to become more engaged in their
communities.

If you are a young person between the ages of 18 to 24 or an organization
looking to engage young people throughout the state, this event is for you.
To RSVP as a participant or if you would like to set up an organizational
booth on the civic mall, please contact RaShonne Davis, Democracy Works
Connecticut, at rashonnedavis@demo... or (860) 727-1157.

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