Last night, the Health and Human Services Appropriations Conference Committee shared their decisions on the money report.
The cut to Smart Start is $18 million in recurring dollars. That means that Smart Start will be permanently cut by $18 million. This is a major increase from the House proposal of $5 million (recurring) or even the Senate proposal of $15 million (non-recurring).
There was no opportunity for questions or discussion, they had met earlier and had finalized these cuts behind closed doors. The only comments made were by Sen. Berger who said that he thought they were still short of the actual target by several hundred million dollars. He knew there were great programs getting cut but lobbying the committee was not going to help. The only hope of reversing some of these cuts was to communicate to the entire General Assembly and the Governor that revenue needed to be raised.
Please let all the legislators know that this is not good for children or the future of the state.