Michigan Council for Maternal & Child Health Friday notes
April 17, 2015
In this issue
MIECHV, Other MCH Program Extensions Passed
Education Needed on Impact of Proposal 1
New Merged MDHHS Begins
Bake Sale Bills May See Restrictions in House
MIECHV, CHIP Other Critical Federal Funding Extensions Passed
This week the U.S. Senate passed the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) or "Doc Fix" bill, providing a two-year extension of the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program; the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP); the Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP); Community Health Centers (CHCs); and Family to Family Health Information Centers (F2Fs) - all at current funding levels. The vote was 92-8 and the bill is now headed to President Obama to be signed into law.
The bill includes funding for MIECHV at its current annual level of $400 million for 2 years, helping to continue evidence-based home visiting services in at-risk communities across the country.
Ensuring the continuation of MIChild coverage for children in Michigan, the bill includes a 2-year extension of the CHIP funding.
Your advocacy made a huge difference in building bi-partisan support for this important bill. MCMCH will be sending thank you letters to members of Congress who supported these programs; please thank your members as well for their support of these critical maternal and child health programs.
Education Needed on Impact of Proposal 1
On May 5 voters in Michigan will decide on Proposal 1--whether to generate new revenue that will fix the state's roads while providing additional stability to schools, communities and families.
The passage of proposal 1 will eliminate sales and use tax on gas, so that all state taxes paid at the pump will go towards roads and bridges. This dedication is estimated to generate about 1.2 billion dollars a year to repair and preserve our transportation systems. In order to replace the revenue lost by eliminating sales tax on gas purchases, Proposal 1 asks voters to increase the state sales tax from 6 to 7 percent.
Based on statements from legislative leaders, we hope voters are clear this may be the only opportunity in Michigan to pay for road repairs, generate additional funding for education and local revenue sharing, and reinstate the Earned Income Tax Credit. If voters reject Proposal 1, the Legislature is unlikely to offer new revenue-generating options but may identify a solution that will redirect any available discretionary funding including programs which benefit maternal and child health to fix the roads.
One of our advocacy partners, Michigan's Children has created a one-page informational sheet on Proposal 1 available to download here. Please consider sharing it as you discuss the impact of this ballot issue with family, friends and colleagues.
New Merged MDHHS Begins
Governor Snyder recognized the launch of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services this week. Snyder was joined at the Ingham County Department of Health and Human Services by Nick Lyon, director of the MDHHS, along with other MDHHS leaders, and community partners.
The Ingham County office was selected as the site of the launch event because of the existing coordination of services among agencies located at that office or nearby. In addition to MDHHS, the Ingham County Health Department and Ingham County Department of Veterans Affairs office is at that location, and Community Mental Health of Clinton, Eaton and Ingham is within a few blocks.
"As the new Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, we are focused on promoting health, wellness and self-sufficiency in all stages of life," Lyon said. "The launch of this new department marks weeks of collaboration with our partners internally and externally. I look forward to the coming months as we work to improve access to the resources and information necessary to improve the lives of all Michigan residents."
The MDHHS was first announced in the Governor's 2015 State of the State address, and became official Friday, April 10 at 11:59 p.m. Nick Lyon was tapped to lead MDHHS in the executive order issued Feb. 9, 2015. The executive order announced the creation of MDHHS through the merger of the former Michigan Departments of Community Health and Human Services.
The MDHHS organizational structure reflects the department's vision and priority areas, and as such will have a special emphasis on children's services, aging and adult services, service delivery/ community operations, health services and family support, as well as population health and community services.
The launch of MDHHS was accompanied by the transfer of the Autism Council and State Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board to the new department. Additionally, most licensing processes currently within the Office of Children and Adult Services have been transferred from the former Department of Human Services to the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.
An organization chart, showing deputies for the major areas of the department, is available here.
Bake Sale Bill May See Restrictions from House
Senate Bill 139, which would allow schools up to three sales per week of food not in compliance with USDA regulations during school hours, was discussed in the House Education Committee this week.
Federal regulations require that all food served in a school building be on its list of approved items. State departments of education are allowed to seek waivers for events like bake sales, but the Michigan Department of Education has not.
Some committee members were concerned, though, that the three sales a week the bill would allow goes too far, with some noting an "event" can last multiple days under the bill.
"For me, it's federal control and, yeah, I have a problem with that, but in this instance, I don't think they're out of line with this," Rep. Ken Yonker (R-Gaines Township) said.
Rep. Thomas Hooker (R-Byron Center) asked Sen. Colbeck (R-Canton Township), the bill sponsor, if he would be open to bringing the cap down to one or two events per week. Sen. Colbeck said he would have to discuss the logistics of such notification with some school officials before taking a position.
Rep. Andy Schor (D-Lansing) said the bill as drafted potentially takes parents out of the process. The bill would leave it to the principal to approve sales.
MCMCH Executive Director Amy Zaagman joined David Hodgkins, Government Relations Director for the American Heart Association in Michigan, to speak against the bill on behalf of the Healthy Kids Healthy Michigan coalition.
Hogkins noted that the role of teaching children healthy eating habits isn't solely with the parents, and the foods and beverages available in educational settings have a significant impact.
"Obesity is a multi-faceted problem and it needs a multi-faceted answer, and moving backward is not the solution," Zaagman said. Zaagman also noted that obesity is one of Governor Snyder's health indicators on his "dashboard" and the bill is contrary to efforts to promote healthier eating.
Contributors to this Issue
Gongwer News Service
Quick Links . . .
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Washington State School District Removes 143 Over Vaccine Law
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Save the Date: Tomorrow's Child Gala May 7
The Tomorrow's Child 2015 Signature Gala will be held Thursday, May 7, at 5:30pm at the Old Town Marquee in Lansing. This year's event honors Brian Peters and the Michigan Health and Hospital Association. Tomorrow's Child provides services and programs across the state to save babies lives and support families who have experienced a pregnancy loss or infant death. Visit tomorrowschildmi.org for details.
Pam Posthumus Signature Auction Event May 13
The Pam Posthumus Signature Auction will be held 5-9pm on May 13 at the Lansing Center. The annual event benefits the Children's Trust Fund to help protect Michigan's most vulnerable citizens from child abuse and neglect.
Visit michigan.gov/ctfsignature to download an auction item, sponsor commitment, table host, or ticket purchase form.
Tickets are $150 each and can be purchased online or call the CTF office at 1-800-CHILDREN.
Please contact Tricia Headley, CTF Event/Fund Development Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org, for additional information on to get involved.
MI-AIMH Conference May 17-19
The Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health (MI-AIMH) will hold its 2015 Biennial Conference, "Caring for the Whole Child," May 17-19 at the Radisson in Kalamazoo. This is especially tailored for those working with or on behalf of infants, toddlers, very young children and their families in a variety of capacities - family support workers, home visitors, early education professionals, health and mental health professionals, research/faculty and policy makers. Learn more and register at mi-aimh.org/conference.
2015 Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies Conference: June 2-3
The 2015 Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies Conference will be held June 2 and 3 at the Sheraton Detroit Metro Airport Hotel. During the day and one-half program, you will hear from a wide variety of speakers who will address our theme of how we can build healthy communities with a collective impact. Through general sessions, eight different breakout sessions, posters and exhibits, we hope you will be able to expand your knowledge base and identify strategies to help mobilize your own communities into taking action and making a difference for Michigan families.