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Advocates for Children of New Jersey

ACNJ Enews
July 2014

How did NJ kids fare in the FY2015 state budget?

On June 30, 2014, Governor Christie signed the Fiscal Year 2015 Appropriations Act which provides funding allocations for the next twelve months. The great news for kids is that the $652.8 million preschool budget recommendation for districts with existing programs – an increase of $4.7 million from the FY 2014 appropriation – was retained.

However, other programs included in the Legislature’s appropriation bill that would have improved the lives of many children and their families were eliminated by the governor’s line item veto. These include $56 million to restore the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) to 25% of the federal credit and $3.5 million for Medicaid/NJ FamilyCare outreach and enrollment. Governor Christie also vetoed appropriations language added by the Legislature that would have increased the minimum LIHEAP grant to qualify recipients for SNAP (Food Stamps) benefits.

Foster Youth Tour State Capitol

On June 23, 60 youth involved in the foster care system visited Trenton to learn more about how laws are made in New Jersey. The group of 60 students is participating in a state-funded advocacy training program sponsored by the Rutgers Office of Child Welfare Initiatives.

The youth met lawmakers and talked to members of the media. They sat in on legislative committee hearings and saw the lawmaking process in action.

ACNJ Assistant Director Mary Coogan, with assistance from Sen. Joseph Vitale and Assemblywoman Vainieri Huttle, helped to organize the day. Mary is providing instruction to the students about the basics of child advocacy.

View pics.