House Bill 1227 requires that all of the Children's Services Councils (Children’s Trust included) to seek reauthorization from voters every six years. That would give the voters an opportunity to sunset the fund if the Trust doesn’t get back to the community basics.
As funding gets tighter for the community agencies, the Trust continues to develop their statistical research department. They are eliminating much needed services that do not fit into their bean-counting scheme. As a result, the Trust research department continues to focus on competing with research universities in the field of social science research, instead of being a funding source for true community based programming. This direction has taken on new life after the last election.
The Children’s Trust is urging their fans and funded agencies to call Tallahassee this week to speak AGAINST House Bill 1227. I agree, we should call but I think we should SUPPORT the bill. Children's Trust Advocacy Alert states the following examples of just a few reasons why this “unnecessary bill” (their words) attempts to fix a problem that does not exist:
* Local voters already approved the creation and reauthorization of our CSC, The Children's Trust, twice by large margins - in 2002 and again in 2008.
* Why single out only those special districts devoted to children for a referendum out of the more than 1,000 special districts in the state?
* We already have laws in place that allow for a referendum any time the county commission decides one is needed.
I believe the Children's Trust is methodically eliminating grass roots services agency by agency, moving towards the unannounced goal of bigger and fancier programs. If the community had wanted to have another United Way, it would have been much simpler to fund the existing United Way with the tax dollars instead of creating an entirely new empire. The Trust has lost the community-based services vision.
Unless this state legislative item passes, Miami-Dade County may never have another opportunity to retract the funding “in perpetuity” which The Children’s Trust now enjoys. The Trust is State funded and employees get State benefits.
I urge you to call Tallahassee this week, because the Children’s Trust, indeed any government agency, should not be funded without end, without accountability, with our tax dollars.
If you care to call Tallahassee to voice your opinion on the bill:
Please contact the bill sponsor, Committee Chair and the House Military and Local Affairs committee members.
Bill Sponsor: Debbie Mayfield, 850-488-0952, firstname.lastname@example.org
Committee Chair: Dorothy Hukill, 850-488-6653, email@example.com
House Military & Local Affairs Committee Members Contact Information
Dorothy Hukill, Chair
Chris Dorworth, Vice Chair
Ron Schultz 850-488-0805
Esteban L. Bovo, Jr. 850-487-2197
Juan C. Zapata 850-488-9550
John Wood 850-488-2721
Janet C. Long 850-488-6197
Janet Adkins 850-488-6920
Mack Bernard 850-488-8632
Keith Fitzgerald 850-488-7754
Evan Jenne 850-488-0245
Mark S. Pafford 850-488-0175
Ronald Renuart 850-488-0001
Charles E. Van Zant 850-488-0665