2009 Mississippi Legislative Session Focus Areas
• Education – Thirty-five percent of students who enter schools in Mississippi do not graduate. For this reason, Congregations for Children advocates three key areas where education can be improved: Pilot pre-kindergarten funding, full MAEP funding, funding for at-risk children
• Mississippi Low-Income Childcare Initiative Legislation (TANF) – Congregations for Children continues to advocate for excess TANF funds to be redirected into childcare.
• Legislate grants for adequate childcare – Congregations for Children supports appropriate legislation to allow childcare agencies to utilize grant programs alongside surplus TANF funds to ensure childcare in Mississippi is both adequate and affordable, especially for families living in poverty.
• Monitor compliance with Olivia Y. vs. Barbour – Congregations for Children will work closely with representatives from the Department of Human Services and the settlement group to legislation is in helps bring the changes required by Olivia Y. vs. Barbour.
• SCHIP – Congregations for Children advocates for legislation removing face-to-face recertification requirements from Medicaid and SCHIP entirely.
• Mississippi Youth Justice Project Cradle to Prison Pipeline – Congregations for Children supports the use of community-based sanctions such as day treatment programs, job readiness- work experience programs, home detention staff, programs, family therapy, case management- tracking and other sanctions including restitution, community service, home curfew, academic tutoring, anger management, structured after-school programming, alternative schools, therapeutic classrooms and substance abuse treatment.
• Cigarette tax increase to fund children’s healthcare – Congregations for Children supports a cigarette tax of not less than 80 cents be added to every standard size cigarette sold in Mississippi.
• Immigration issues facing children