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January 16, 2018
Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York understands that Governor Cuomo needed to be fiscally prudent to address the State’s budget deficit, federal cuts and threats to New York’s economy from the new tax bill; however, CCC is deeply disappointed that the Executive Budget targets for reduction programs that support and address the needs of the most vulnerable children and youth in New York City.
Specifically, CCC is dismayed that the Executive Budget proposes to cap New York City’s reimbursement for services that prevent child abuse and neglect at a time when the City has been successfully implementing a strong continuum of evidence based services and on the heels of a $64 million state cut to foster care this year. Furthermore, the Executive Budget proposes to eliminate all $41.4 million of state support for the Close to Home juvenile justice initiative, which is not only critical for justice involved youth but essential for the city’s implementation of Raise the Age. The Executive Budget also failed to increase investments in programs that are essential to strong child and family outcomes among them home visiting, child care and Home Stability Support to prevent homelessness.
That said, there are several proposed investments that should be applauded, among them we appreciate proposals that add $15 million for prekindergarten, $10 million for after-school programs, $50 million for community schools, $7 million to restore previously cut funding for child care, $4 million to address the minimum wage increase for the Summer Youth Employment Program, and $100 million to implement a continuum of services associated with raising the age of criminal responsibility. We also support the budget’s inclusion of the First 1,000 Days initiative, which is designed to better address the needs of young children, and we strongly support numerous legislative proposals including the Child Safety Act, the Dream Act, and bail and discovery reform, as well as statutory language to reauthorize Close to Home.
We look forward to working the Governor and the entire State Legislature to reach an adopted budget that that protects and promotes the well-being of children, youth and families across the entire state.