We commend Governor Doyle and legislative leaders for including investments in early childhood initiatives in a proposed economic stimulus and budget repair package revealed on February 11, 2009.
The bill allocates $20 million for state child care subsidies in response to a projected shortfall. WECA believes that continued and adequate funding for these subsidies is critical to the lives of thousands of Wisconsin children and families, especially as our economy worsens and families face more challenges.
The bill also includes specific plans to address the recent fraud and abuse findings in the Wisconsin Shares program. It will create an automated tracking system to monitor child care attendance and a program integrity unit to monitor all aspects of the program and investigate allegations of program abuse. WECA supports quickly addressing these issues. According to WECA executive director, Ruth Schmidt, “It is imperative that the taxpayer money that funds this program is used effectively so that is reaches Wisconsin families who need it the most.”
The proposed economic stimulus and budget repair package is a preliminary action designed to stimulate Wisconsin’s economy. The package in its entirety is said to reduce the current state budget shortfall by $700 million dollars by the end of the 2009-2011 biennium. WECA encourages legislators to quickly evaluate and pass these important initiatives.