Priority Issues for 2013 Legislative Agenda

Natalie Horowitz
October 2, 2012

Kathleen Cannon, President/CEO of United Way of Broward County announced the release of the organization’s 2013 Legislative Agenda approved by its Board of Directors on September 19, 2012. 

According to Ms. Cannon, “As a leader for change and champion for improving the lives of all Broward residents, our involvement in promoting good public policy and legislation that supports the health and well-being of the Broward community, is central to our mission and goals.”

The Legislative Agenda is the culmination of a five-month collaborative process of the 30 members of its Public Policy Advisory Committee. The Advisory Committee is a broad coalition of community leaders, donors and funded partners. The group narrowed its focus to four priority issues that it believed had the greatest impact on Broward County, and would likely have important focus in the 2013 Legislative session in Tallahassee.  These issues are:

  • Expansion of Medicaid:  United Way of Broward County supports the expansion of Medicaid for Florida families under the Affordable Care Act.
  • Equity Funding Formula for Child Welfare: United Way of Broward County supports legislation to provide an equity funding formula for Florida’s child welfare system that will more fairly and adequately support child welfare programs.
  • Quality Standards for Subsidized Child Care: United Way of Broward County supports directing child care funding only to childcare providers that meet identified accreditation standards.
  • Restoration of Funding for Adult Behavioral Health: United Way of Broward County calls on the Florida legislature to restore recurring funding and increase funding levels for all adult behavioral health services.

Cannon says these concerns will have a major impact on improving lives in Broward County.  She commented the preamble of United Way of Broward County’s Legislative Agenda explains the organization position and commitment to public policy advocacy.

A key strategy to achieving systemic, long term solutions to community problems is targeted involvement in advocacy for public policy issues at the local, state and national level. 

United Way of Broward County believes government plays a critical role in creating change that can improve people’s lives.   But government cannot do it alone.  United Way of Broward County must actively engage in public policy advocacy to build coalitions and develop partnerships, in order to achieve our mission and goals in advancing the common good for all Broward residents.

United Way of Broward County is part of a larger coalition of local United Ways across the State of Florida, under the leadership of Ted Granger, President and CEO of United Way of Florida.  The coalition will work collectively in the upcoming Legislative session to promote and advocate for issues impacting the common good of Florida residents in the areas of education, health and economic prosperity.

All 34 United Ways in the State of Florida have adopted guiding principles in the public policy advocacy work and are the core precepts that they urge the Florida legislature to apply in considering all budgetary and legislative issues.

  • State Budget – When considering budget decisions, the Legislature should make strategic decisions (not across the board cuts); maximize revenues to draw down all federal funds; and focus on cost-effective, proven programs.
  • Local Control – The Legislature should support the authority of local government and locally approved entities to determine the best use of resources.
  • Focus on Prevention – To the greatest extent possible, the Legislature should orient state spending to prevention programs that will save Florida taxpayers money in the long term.

For questions or more information, please contact:  Dave Wallace, Director of Public Policy Advocacy at United Way of Broward County, dwallace@unitedwaybroward.org or 954.462.4850 x130

 

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