Last week the legislature wrapped up its first special session without passing a budget. However, both the Senate and House did release new budget proposals last week.
The Senate’s budget proposal spends an additional $242 million, mostly from increases in expected revenue from current sources. Even with the added funds, this budget falls short in supporting any of the anti-hunger programs you’ve been fighting for, and does not include any new, sustainable revenue sources.
The House budget, in an effort to compromise, removed provisions that would have collected $917 million in new revenue in the next two years, resulting in funding cuts from their previous budget. We are happy to report, however, that none of those cuts were to the Emergency Food Assistance Program, State Food Assistance, or Farmers Market Nutrition Program – all still funded at our requested amounts.
The House made another key change in this proposal – they restored 9% to the TANF program, this is a cash grant program that helps provide economic security for families with children while parents look and train for adequate and stable employment. This change means that all TANF recipients will benefit, rather than a few limited groups through policy changes.
These new budgets are a great opportunity to let your legislators in both chambers knows where you stand on the budgets, and to encourage them to wrap up their work prior to the June 28th deadline.