The 60 day Legislative Session comes to a close on March 11, 2016. We are halfway through week 6 of session and I wanted to give you a quick update. We continue to be very optimistic!
To recap, in the initial budget, the Senate included approximately $1 million for out-of-home care and $1.4 million for in-home care (in cases where children are 3 years or younger). The House included approximately $1 million for out-of-home care only. Neither chamber included funding for certification.
Things will remain the same until budget conference is called. Budget conference is a time when the Senate President and House Speaker appoint members from each Chamber to negotiate the items in the budget that have not been agreed upon. Every issue must be identically funded as we move forward. We expect conference committees to be announced any time now – possibly even conferencing this weekend. For the GAL Program, that means our requests for in-home funding and certification still need to be addressed. Additionally, there continues to be discussion about salary adjustments in both Chambers.
As soon as members of the budget conferences are announced, our team will reach out to those members and urge their support for our budgetary proposals, and the salary increases. As I’ve mentioned before, salary adjustments are difficult to achieve, however, we are continuing to push hard.
It is imperative that we stay vigilant these last few weeks of session. We still believe we are in a good position and our team is working very hard to bring home victory! We could not do this without YOU! Thank you for your ongoing support.