The Joint Committee on Ways and Means will be holding public hearings in seven locations across the state, starting in Salem on Friday, February 10th.
Oregonians will be providing input on priorities for the 2017-19 budget, and legislators need to hear from parents and providers about the importance of EI/ECSE services!
As mentioned in the Oregon AEI newsletter sent out last week, Oregon has a $1.8 billion dollar budget shortfall that may result in further cuts to already underfunded EI/ECSE programs which have been unable to provide the levels of service that children and families need.
To help you in your advocacy, Oregon AEI is developing an EI/ECSE fact sheet with current data and talking points to help you understand the issues and needed budget actions. Watch for this to come out later this week via our Facebook and Twitter pages.
What to Expect at These Meetings:
- These town halls will likely be crowded. If you are bringing young children, ensure you have toys, snacks, and other things they enjoy to help pass the time.
- If you plan to give testimony, arrive early as the sign-up sheets fill in fast.
If You Decide to Give Testimony:
- Testimony is usually limited to 1-2 minutes per person, so prepare in advance and be as brief as possible.
- Introduce yourself and your child/family (or bring a photo of your child to share).
- Legislators want to hear your personal story. How has EI/ECSE helped your child and your family? How is your life and your child’s future better as a result of EI/ECSE?
- Pick one talking point about EI/ECSE services and how it applies to your family:
- STRENGTHENS FAMILIES: Teaches parents and children with disabilities the skills they need to succeed at home and school.
- IMPROVES OUTCOMES: The seamless birth to five EI/ECSE system enhances ALL areas of a child’s development.
- COST EFFECTIVE: Children experience greater success when they receive interventions early in life. This reduces the need for special education services in K-12 programs.
- Close your testimony by asking legislators to provide sufficient funds for EI/ECSE programs so that all eligible children receive the recommended level of service now in order to reduce the need for interventions later in life.
What if you can’t make it to the town hall meeting in your area? Please email the members of the Joint Committee on Ways and Means, Subcommittee on Education (listed below) to share your story and ask them to provide sufficient funds for these programs so that all eligible children receive the recommended level of service now in order to reduce the need for interventions later in life.
Joint Committee On Ways and Means--SubCommittee On Education:
Co-Chair Sen Rod Monroe
Co-Chair Rep Barbara Smith Warner
Member Sen Arnie Roblan
Member Sen Chuck Thomsen
Member Rep Diego Hernandez
Member Rep John Lively
Member Rep Julie Parrish
Member Rep Gene Whisnant
Education Sub Staff Email
TOWN HALL SCHEDULE
Friday, February 10 -- Salem
5 to 7 p.m.
Hearing Room F
Oregon State Capitol
900 Court Street NE, Salem
Saturday, February 11 -- Portland
Noon to 2 p.m.
Main Mall, Amo DeBernardis CC Building
PCC, Sylvania campus
12000 SW 49th Ave, Portland
Friday, February 17 -- Hermiston
5 to 7 p.m.
Hermiston High School
600 S 1st St, Hermiston
Saturday, February 18 -- Madras
1 to 3 p.m.
Performing Arts Center
Madras High School
390 SE 10th St, Madras
Friday, February 24 -- Ashland
5 to 7 p.m.
Rogue River Room
Southern Oregon University
1250 Siskiyou Blvd, Ashland
Saturday, February 25 -- Eugene
1 to 3 p.m.
Rooms 308-309 Building 17 (The Forum)
Lane Community College
4000 E 30th Ave, Eugene
Friday, March 3 -- Tillamook
6 to 8 p.m.
Port of Tillamook Bay
6825 Officers Row, Tillamook