|Special Edition: Fiscal Year 2013 Budget|
On Tuesday, January 31, 2012, Governor Lincoln Chafee released his Fiscal Year 2013 budget during his annual State of the State address. The proposed budget includes many items that will affect the well-being of Rhode Island's children and families. Below is a look at some of them:
- Fully funds the second year of the education funding formula, providing an additional $21.6 million over FY 2012, and recommends an additional $11 million toward implementation of the funding formula by increasing funding for under-funded school districts by 50%.
- Fully funds the categorical programs that are part of the funding formula, including high-cost special education, career and technical education, regionalization bonuses, transportation and early learning (State Pre-K).
- Proposes a $20 million technology investment to provide a wireless infrastructure in classrooms statewide to allow access to online textbooks and manage the information needed to track student, teacher and school performance.
- Reduces state aid for the administration of the School Breakfast Program by $270,000.
- Proposes merger of the Office of Higher Education and the Higher Education Assistance Authority.
- Maintains the higher education funding level required to meet Maintenance of Effort needed to receive a federal College Access Challenge Grant to increase college access, retention and completion.
- Fully funds the early learning categorical program that was adopted as part of the funding formula. This funding would support 8 State Pre-K classrooms.
- Increases co-pay for child care for working families with incomes over 100% FPL by 1% - ($275,000 reduction in general revenue funds).
- Maintains $1 million in state directed funding for Head Start.
- Eliminates Life Skills Assessment, Education and Transition Planning support for youth in the Training School, an elimination of $53,000 in state funds.
- Reduces YESS Aftercare Services (assists youth aging out of DCYF care) by $375,047 in state funds.
- Includes an additional $500,000 for educational costs related to youth who are in the custody of DCYF and placed in an educational setting outside of the home school district. The Rhode Island Department of Education is currently transitioning to a new funding method that will result in the shift of some of the costs from school districts to DCYF. Fiscal Year 2013 is the first of a five year transition plan.
- Requires clinical utilization reviews for services for children seeking Medicaid health coverage through the Katie Beckett provision - ($400,000 reduction in state general revenue funds).
- Eliminates Medicaid Dental Services for pregnant women, parents of children with RIte Care coverage, disabled adults ages 21 and older, and nursing home residents - ($2.7 million reduction in state general revenue funds).
- Funds the enhancement of the Medicaid Management Information System (MMIS) and the development of a fully-integrated eligibility system, which will improve the RIte Care and RIte Share programs and be a key part of the soon-to-be-created Rhode Island Health Insurance Exchange. The new eligibility system will not only serve the needs of the Medicaid program, but also other benefit programs and will eventually replace the InRhodes system.
- Reduce Managed Care Capitation Rates by 4.14% - ($14 million reduction in state general revenue funds).
- Cuts 22 full-time DHS employees that were assigned to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and paid for with federal funds that are no longer available.
- Proposes a $25 million bond to support affordable housing.
- Does not fund the Neighborhood Opportunities Program (NOP), which addresses the housing needs of low-income families and individuals with disabilities, but asks Rhode Island Housing to provide these funds from its own resources.
Click here to review the complete budget proposal. Rhode Island KIDS COUNT will be tracking bills and budget items that relate to children throughout the 2012 Legislative Session. You can visit our website for information on important legislation and upcoming hearings, and to read our public testimony on behalf of Rhode Island's children.