With little more than a week left to go in the 2019 Legislation Session, the state budget bill,
House Bill 105
, has now passed the House and passed out of the Senate Finance Committee to the Senate floor. Next step is to pass the Senate floor, and then it will probably go into Conference Committee before heading to the Governor.
It should be noted that amendments are likely to happen at each step in the process.
House Bill 105 started its path with $0 new dollars for early care and education, at this point in the process it now contains a total of $15.2 million in new funds for early ed as follows:
New funds for the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP)
This is the first time in ten years that the Legislature has added state general funds into CCAP.
- $2.267 million in new state dollars to raise the subsidy rates for the current 15,000 children in the program. Louisiana is under federal corrective action for the federal block grant that funds the subsidies because our rates are so low.
- $8.9 million in new state dollars to restore CCAP slots. This will fund 1,450 CCAP slots out of the 5,500 children on the CCAP waitlist or are authorized and unfunded.
However, the bad news is this still leaves 4,050 children waiting for CCAP funding. To serve the additional 4,050 children would take an additional $25 million.
CCAP is the only state administered program for children birth to age three, and is for low-income families whose parents are working, in school or job training. CCAP has been cut dramatically over the last ten years.
New funds for 4 year old Pre-K
- $4 million in new state dollars to cover 800 Pre-K slots that are ending due to an expiring federal grant.