In October we put out a blog indicating federal home visiting funding was in trouble. It’s still in trouble, but help may be on the way. With many advocates and bi-partisan members of Congress working on a solution, there is a reasonable chance that the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting program (MIECHV) funding may be saved.
There are efforts in both the House and Senate to include ongoing funding for home visiting by the end of the year. It appears the Senate version of the bill would maintain current funding levels. The House bill would provide a five-year authorization, which would stabilize the program, but the bill would require increasing state matches: 30% in 2020, 40% in 2021, and 40% in 2022. For Wisconsin and many other states, the state matches could be very difficult. Wisconsin provides a state annual GPR match of only $1 million, MIECHV federal funds provide $8.6 million, and another $3.9 million comes from federal TANF funds.
A group of Wisconsin State Legislators are urging Congress to support home visiting, asking them to support the Senate version of the bill that maintains current funding levels. A sign-on letter has been circulated to state legislators to go to Wisconsin members of Congress in Washington. The key people circulating the letter are Rep. Joan Balweg, Sen. Alberta Darling, Rep. Jill Billlings, and Rep. LaTonya Johnson, all members of the Legislative Children’s Caucus.
Keep up the advocacy urging Congress to continue funding home visiting.
Early Education Policy Analyst