Well, the legislature hasn't adjourned, but they did pass a budget in time to avoid a partial government shutdown! And the budget, from our perspective, turned out quite well for human services, including children and family services. A budget comparison chart will be posted on our website soon!
The legislature also passed a number of major bills on June 30th/July 1st! Among them was HB 1661, the bill establishing the Department of Children, Youth, and Families! A summary of the bill and timeline for implementation can be found here. Tremendous thanks to all who helped get the bill through the legislature, with strong bi-partisan support, in one session (OK, one regular and three special sessions!). And, congratulations to Ross Hunter, the just-named first Secretary of the new department! As you all know, while getting a bill passed takes considerable work, the hardest part lies ahead - successful implementation!
As indicated, the legislature did not adjourn sine die on June 30th/July 1st, as they have work that remains to be done, including the passage of a capital budget. It is unclear when or if this will happen, but the third special session runs through July 20th, so they still have time!
We will send a final, very brief update when the legislature adjourns sine die; however, other than posting the budget comparison document, this will likely be our last weekly legislative and Bill Tracker update for 2017... Knock on wood! (Note: This is the summary as of today, but more may still change over the next few days. We will work on getting a final summary on the online Bill Tracker soon!)
Thanks to all of you who followed our weekly legislative updates, took action, passed the information on to others, whatever! We hope that you found the information to be helpful, and we welcome your feedback on how to make the 2018 updates even better!
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to email us anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please also visit our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter for updates on our work throughout the year.
Enjoy the summer!
Public Policy Director