Thank you MN Catholic Conference (from which this is taken)
12 years watching abused and abandoned children struggle to make their way through a poorly resourced county system as a Hennepin County guardian ad-Litem makes it tough to witness the Governor’s defunding of programs that have kept them from the most basic services and abject poverty.
The Governor’s line-item veto of GAMC and proposed unallotments ignore the human dignity of our poorest and most vulnerable neighbors, and will cause significant harm to those among us who we are called to place first. And, in turn, it will further weaken our state’s continual pursuit of the common good. Though the Governor’s plan includes several harmful unallotments, our greatest concerns are with the following seven proposed unallotments:
1. Elimination of Emergency Assistance: On November 1, 2009, two of Minnesota’s three Emergency Assistance programs will end: Emergency General Assistance (EGA) and Emergency Minnesota Supplemental Assistance (EMSA). These two critical safety-net programs provide needed assistance to Minnesotans who cannot fully support themselves, usually due to illness or disability, and who are facing an emergency that threatens their health or safety. Oftentimes related to imminent eviction, foreclosure or utility shut-off, ignored emergencies place our already struggling neighbors on the edge of homelessness….
2. Elimination of GAMC Coverage on March 1, 2010: Health insurance for “the poorest of the poor and the sickest of the sick” will end four months earlier than expected. When the Governor line-item vetoed GAMC on May 14, the program was slated to end on July 1, 2010. However, under the executive power of unallotment, GAMC will instead end on March 1, 2010…. the Minnesota Legislature will have less than four weeks, after reconvening on February 4, 2010 to address the elimination of health care coverage for our 30,000 neighbors who are living at or below 75 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
3. Cutting Children & Community Services Grants: Children & Community Services Grants provide crucial funding for counties to purchase or provide social services for seniors, adults, children and families struggling with abuse and neglect, living with a disability, mental illness or chronic health condition, or living in poverty. Additionally, these grants provide services for: pregnant adolescents, adolescent parents and their children; adults who are vulnerable and in need of protection; people over the age of 60 who need help living independently; and people with developmental disabilities. The Governor proposes cutting Children & Community Services Grants by 25 percent during FY 2010, and by 33 percent during FY 2011.
These grants fund a variety of critical services: adoption, case management, counseling, foster care for adults and children, protective services for adults and children, residential treatment, services for people with developmental, emotional or physical disabilities, substance abuse counseling, transportation, and public guardianship.
As Pliny said 2500 years ago; “what you do to your children, they will do to your society”, or as former MN Chief Justice Kathleen Blatz said just a few years ago, “90 % of the youth in juvenile justice have come through child protection”. Nationally, over 50% of youth in juvenile justice have diagnosable mental illness, and fully half of that population have multiple and severe diagnosis (this goes along way in explaining why America’s schools and streets are troubled).
Minnesota’s governor’s won’t maintain bridges or people, and he thinks it economically sound policy in the face of disaster and double digit prison growth. He believes in God and stadiums, yet I know of no religion in the world that abandons the weakest and most vulnerable among us. I’m not against stadiums, I’m simply more pro children).
Support at risk children, start a KARA group in your community.
Have something to add? Tell us your point of view or story…
If you think someone might appreciate this information, press the share button below..
Read the rest of this entry →