Tuesday, 16 May 2017 05:30

For the Children:OICA's 2017 Children's Agenda Featured

Written by OICA CEO Joe Dorman
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As we near the end of the 1st Regular Session of the Fifty-sixth Oklahoma Legislature, I am proud of the work done by the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy and our many partners who worked hard to champion better public policy for the children of our state. I am also gratified for the many legislators who chose to vote in the best interests of our children. Despite a legislative session that has been defined by budget shortfalls and political gridlock, several key children’s policies gained the support of lawmakers and provided us with an excellent foundation on which to build.

 

I invite all our readers and supporters to go to http://oica.org/legislation/legislative-scorecard/ (or click here) and see our 2017 Children’s Agenda and legislative scorecard. On page one of that document you will see policy areas that OICA considers priorities for children’s wellbeing.

 

These include:
• Adequate Funding for Children’s Services: The State Department of Education, the Office of Juvenile Affairs, the Department of Human Services and the state’s Medicaid agency all provide vital services that should not be cut. It remains to be seen if the Legislature will produce a budget that protects these areas of government.
• Foster Care Improvements and other Child Wellbeing Measures: OICA made significant inroads on this front, working with legislators to advance permanent improvements at DHS to support foster parents and protect children in state custody. We also helped lead the way in passing measures that will help fight childhood hunger.
• Criminal Justice Reform: With one in 10 Oklahoma children having a parent who is incarcerated at one time, voters have had enough of policies that emphasize long prison sentences for non-violent offenders instead of treatment and rehabilitation. Criminal justice reform continues to gain significant ground in the Legislature.


In addition to those general policy areas, OICA also released a list of 21 bills that we have asked Legislators to vote “yes” on and actively support. While some have already been signed into law by Governor Mary Fallin, many others are still working their way through the process. We have high hopes that each of these bills will make it to the governor’s desk and see favorable action.

 

Each bill on our scorecard involves issues of child wellbeing, health and safety, foster care issues, criminal justice reform or government spending. Knowing that 2017 was a difficult budget year and any legislation with a price-tag attached to it risks failure, we worked hard to find revenue-neutral policy improvements for legislators to support.

 

We face many obstacles, but I am confident the work of OICA, our many advocates and the various organizations working for a better tomorrow will continue to deliver good results. If you would like to join in our effort and begin plans for the 2018 session, we hope to see you at our Fall Forum. This conference will be held on November 2 at the State Capitol. It is attended by policy experts and leaders in their respective fields from across the state, who help us fashion a robust agenda for the upcoming year. OICA hopes you will save the date and join us as a voice in helping find solutions and moving our state beyond our current KIDS COUNT national ranking of 37 for child welfare issues. Please check out oica.org for more information.

 

SAVE THE DATE: OICA Heroes Ball on August 10

OICA is hosting our first ever annual Gala, the Heroes Ball, on August 10 at the Skirvin Hotel in Oklahoma City. The event will be a superhero themed party that honors members of our community who go above and beyond to help Oklahoma's children. We will post more information on OICA.org in the near future!

 

 

 

About OICA
The Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy was established in 1983 by a group of citizens, to create a strong advocacy network that would provide a voice for the needs of children and youth in Oklahoma, particularly those in the state’s care and those growing up amid poverty, violence, abuse and neglect, disparities, or other situations that put their lives and future at risk.

Our mission statement: “Creating awareness, taking action and changing policy to improve the health, safety and well-being of Oklahoma’s children.“

Copyright © 2017 OICA

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May 15, 2017
Media Contact: Joe Dorman; or 405-892-9205

For the Children:

OICA's 2017 Children's Agenda

By OICA CEO Joe Dorman
As we near the end of the 1st Regular Session of the Fifty-sixth Oklahoma Legislature, I am proud of the work done by the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy and our many partners who worked hard to champion better public policy for the children of our state. I am also gratified for the many legislators who chose to vote in the best interests of our children. Despite a legislative session that has been defined by budget shortfalls and political gridlock, several key children’s policies gained the support of lawmakers and provided us with an excellent foundation on which to build.

I invite all our readers and supporters to go to http://oica.org/legislation/legislative-scorecard/ (or click here) and see our 2017 Children’s Agenda and legislative scorecard. On page one of that document you will see policy areas that OICA considers priorities for children’s wellbeing. These include:
• Adequate Funding for Children’s Services: The State Department of Education, the Office of Juvenile Affairs, the Department of Human Services and the state’s Medicaid agency all provide vital services that should not be cut. It remains to be seen if the Legislature will produce a budget that protects these areas of government.
• Foster Care Improvements and other Child Wellbeing Measures: OICA made significant inroads on this front, working with legislators to advance permanent improvements at DHS to support foster parents and protect children in state custody. We also helped lead the way in passing measures that will help fight childhood hunger.
• Criminal Justice Reform: With one in 10 Oklahoma children having a parent who is incarcerated at one time, voters have had enough of policies that emphasize long prison sentences for non-violent offenders instead of treatment and rehabilitation. Criminal justice reform continues to gain significant ground in the Legislature.
In addition to those general policy areas, OICA also released a list of 21 bills that we have asked Legislators to vote “yes” on and actively support. While some have already been signed into law by Governor Mary Fallin, many others are still working their way through the process. We have high hopes that each of these bills will make it to the governor’s desk and see favorable action.

Each bill on our scorecard involves issues of child wellbeing, health and safety, foster care issues, criminal justice reform or government spending. Knowing that 2017 was a difficult budget year and any legislation with a price-tag attached to it risks failure, we worked hard to find revenue-neutral policy improvements for legislators to support.

We face many obstacles, but I am confident the work of OICA, our many advocates and the various organizations working for a better tomorrow will continue to deliver good results. If you would like to join in our effort and begin plans for the 2018 session, we hope to see you at our Fall Forum. This conference will be held on November 2 at the State Capitol. It is attended by policy experts and leaders in their respective fields from across the state, who help us fashion a robust agenda for the upcoming year. OICA hopes you will save the date and join us as a voice in helping find solutions and moving our state beyond our current KIDS COUNT national ranking of 37 for child welfare issues. Please check out oica.org for more information.

SAVE THE DATE: OICA Heroes Ball on August 10

OICA is hosting our first ever annual Gala, the Heroes Ball, on August 10 at the Skirvin Hotel in Oklahoma City. The event will be a superhero themed party that honors members of our community who go above and beyond to help Oklahoma's children. We will post more information on OICA.org in the near future!

About OICA
The Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy was established in 1983 by a group of citizens, to create a strong advocacy network that would provide a voice for the needs of children and youth in Oklahoma, particularly those in the state’s care and those growing up amid poverty, violence, abuse and neglect, disparities, or other situations that put their lives and future at risk.

Our mission statement: “Creating awareness, taking action and changing policy to improve the health, safety and well-being of Oklahoma’s children.“

Copyright © 2017 OICA

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You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list