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Governor Cuts $200,000 in Funding to Kentucky United Methodist Homes for Children and Youth

February 09, 2009

A letter from the Kentucky United Methodist Homes for Children and Youth, the Kentucky Conference Advocacy Team, the Bishop, and the Cabinet

Private children’s homes in Kentucky receive an average of 75% of their funding from the state of Kentucky’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services. The remaining 25% of costs come from donations. 

As of February 1, 2009, the Governor has imposed a 1.4 million dollar cut to the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. The reality resulting from this cut is a 4.5 million loss because, by cutting state general fund dollars, the state will be unable to draw the matching federal dollars that would be available.  The consequences of these cuts may result in several of the smaller children’s agencies without church support, to either close or make drastic cuts that seriously threaten the number of children who can be served.  It will also result in a loss of over $200,000 for the Kentucky United Methodist Children’s Homes which compounds our currently tough financial situation. 

In the Governor’s address, he said he had protected the most vulnerable from his cuts. However, by imposing cuts to the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, he has actually cut funds for the MOST vulnerable, i.e. children who have been taken into the State’s custody because of issues of abuse, neglect, and abandonment. 

WE NEED YOUR HELP WITHIN THE NEXT WEEK!!  Help us with by doing the following three things:
1) Sending a personal letter from you to the governor. 
2) Sending a personal letter to the key leaders of the House of Representatives and the Senate. 
3) Sending a personal letter to your personal State Representative and Senator. If you are unsure of who your personal legislators are, type in or copy the following and paste it into your web browser to find your personal legislators: http://lrc.ky.gov/Legislators.htm.
Here are some talking points or thoughts to include when writing the governor and legislators
- The current rates for private child care agencies do not cover the cost of services today; in fact only 60-75% of actual costs are paid by the state for services.  Therefore, additional cuts are making the problem even worse.

- Private child care agencies learned that CHFS (Cabinet for Health and Family Services) has included a reduction in private child care agencies’ rates in their budget reduction plan. The reductions became effective February 1, 2009. 
- Rate reductions will put agencies that care for Kentucky’s most vulnerable children at risk. Some may close and others will continue by making budget reductions that undercut quality services.

- If we make a 1.4 million dollar general fund cut, then it equals a 4.5 million cut to services for children because of federal dollars we can no longer draw upon.

- Governor Beshear stated that Education, Health Care and Public Safety were his top priorities and yet, to our despair, he has left out the children in foster care, children’s homes, and the children served in treatment programs in the Department for Juvenile Justice.

- On April 4, prior to the primary election, then candidate Steve Beshear promised a group of children’s agencies (called the Children’s Alliance) that he “would make children a top priority and fully and responsibly fund the Kentucky child welfare system.”  These cuts are not in keeping with his promise.
- As citizens of the commonwealth, we do not want these cuts!  Make these kids a PRIORITY!

These are just ideas.  We do not want to send "form" letters, but rather please take time to briefly express your DISAPPOINTMENT that the Governor left foster children out of the most vulnerable he chose to protect (exempt from cuts) and how these cuts will impact the services provided by the Kentucky United Methodist Homes for Children ($200,000 cut).
Please mail your letter to:
1) Governor Steve Beshear
700 Capitol Ave.
Suite 100
Frankfort, KY 40601

2) Representative Greg Stumbo
Speaker of the House
702 Capitol Ave
Annex Room 303
Frankfort KY 40601

3) Senator David Williams
President of the Senate
702 Capitol Ave
Annex Room 236
Frankfort, KY  40601

4) Representative Rick Rand
Chair, Appropriations and Revenue
702 Capitol Ave
Annex Room 366B
Frankfort KY 40601

5) Senator Charlie Borders
Chair, Appropriations and Revenue
702 Capitol Ave.
Annex Room 204

6) Representative Larry Clark
Speaker Pro Tem
702 Capitol Ave
Annex Room 304A
Frankfort KY 40601

7) Senator Dan Kelly
Majority Floor Leader
702 Capitol Ave.
Annex Room 242
Frankfort, KY 40601

8) Representative Rocky Adkins
Majority Floor Leader
702 Capitol Ave.
Annex Room 309
Frankfort, KY 40601
9) The Senator from your Home District 

10) The Representative from your Home District
Copy the following and paste it into your web browser to find your personal legislators:  

Thank you for taking time to do this!  Please email, or write us when you have sent the letters so we can track our impact. Together WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
Randy A. Coy, President                            Melinda Ryles-Smith, Vice President-Development
Kentucky United Methodist Homes for Children and Youth, Box 749, Versailles, KY 40383
               Email Contact: Melinda@kyumh.org

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