UPDATE: From WUNC, list of budget items to receive funds from the proposed $784M House Revenue package.
This afternoon the NC House restored almost all of Smart Start’s funding. As of now, the cut for Smart Start in the House budget is $5 million! The cut for More at Four remains at $10 million, signifiantly less than the $40 million proposed bythe Senate .
What happens next:
- The House must vote two times on the whole budget including approving the new revenue plan—this is not a done deal. They expect to complete this process by Friday.
- Once the House passes its budget, it will go to a conference committee made up of members from both the House and the Senate.
- In conference, the cut will need to be finalized. If we stay at $5 million in the House budget, Smart Start’s cut can be between $5 million (House) and $15 million (Senate).
What we need to do:
- Call members of the House Appropriations Committee and thank them profusely.
- Call your House representatives and urge them to support Smart Start and More at Four funding.
While the game is not yet over, this is a significant win that is a direct result of your hard work—making the calls, coming to Raleigh, and applying the pressure! Take a moment to pat yourselves on the back.
But, we can’t slow down! We need to keep this up through the rest of this budget process and continually remind our policymakers that early childhood programs are absolutely essential to our state.