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April 2024 Monthly Update

April 2024 Monthly Update

We are well into the legislative session, and things are moving! Here are some updates:

Last week, the House Appropriations Committee cut $24.3 million from the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) in the state budget, HB1. This is a 50% cut to the funds that were secured last year. HB1 made it out of the House with amendments and will be sent to the Senate to go through the process again. As the bill currently stands, CCAP remains cut by 50% of the funds secured last year which will cause at least 2,000 children to lose access to quality early care and education in our state.

However, there are some good points this session, such as SB433 by Chairman Edmonds sailing out of Senate Education on Wednesday, April 24th without any opposition. SB433 requires the Louisiana Department of Education to establish an online Early Childhood Education Data Dashboard, making the information more easily accessible and transparent not only for the parents, but also for the legislators to ensure that they are making informed decisions regarding early care and education.

HB190 by Rep. Freiberg, relative to the Early Childhood Care and Education Commission, has been referred to the Senate Education Committee and will most likely be heard next week. This bill focuses on making quorum changes to improve engagement amongst the commission so more meaningful work is accomplished. So, despite this major cut to CCAP, we do have a positive movement in early care and education.

Finally, regarding the constitutional convention, HB800 by Rep. Beaullieu has made it out of the House and Government Affairs Committee with amendments. The amendments provide specific vote requirements for actions of the convention and changed the original end date from July 15th to June 3rd, shortening the length of time the convention will last since the bill retains the original start date of May 20th. However, there is an option to extend it to July 15th only by a vote of those involved with the convention. The amendments also prohibit the convention from changing Articles I, II, III, and IV of the Constitution of Louisiana. It’s headed to the House Appropriations Committee on Monday, April 29th, because it has a fiscal note of more than $100,000.

Next month is the annual Ready Louisiana Early Ed Day at the Capitol on Tuesday, May 21st, 9:00 am – 3:00 pm in the Rotunda at the Louisiana State Capitol. Early Ed Day at the Capitol is an advocacy day for business leaders, chambers of commerce, United Ways, advocacy organizations, early care and education professionals, and parents to educate policymakers about the importance of improving policies and increasing investment in quality early care and education for children birth through age four in our state. I hope you can join us and please don’t forget to wear your blue and green attire. Please register for Early Ed Day at the Capitol!

Thank you for advocating on behalf of young children and families in Louisiana!

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