California MomsRising members have been keeping an eye on the budget. That's why we dropped by the Capitol on May 19th to deliver member messages attached to funny glasses and a letter urging our legislators to fight against proposed cuts to kids' health programs, including the possible elimination of vision benefits from the Healthy Families Program. MomsRising members (and one junior member) walked the halls and met with staffers to remind our elected leaders that if kids can't see the blackboard, they can't learn. We shared lots of stories, like this one from Kimberly in Monrovia, CA:
My 5th grade son wears glasses, paid for by Medi-Cal. He always scores Advanced in his CST scores and last year scored 100% for both English and Math. That is not a typo. He cannot see the board at school without glasses, even if he is seated at the front of the room. If you take away our ability to get him glasses, that is seriously going to impair his ability to perform well at school. The kids with medical needs is NOT the place to make your budget cuts.
The highlight of the day was meeting with Senator Gloria Romero, Chair of the Senate Education Committee. After the meeting, she told us, "It's critical that parent voices are heard in Sacramento right now. MomsRising members can play a powerful role in making sure that the needs of children and families are prioritized in the state capitol." Check out these great photos of Senator Romero wearing the glasses we gave her:
Thanks to those who came to the Capitol to help deliver these packages, and to all the members who submitted stories and sent letters to their legislators about the budget. Although we still have lots of work ahead, your efforts are making a difference. We're hearing good things from the budget subcommittees about children's health issues, so keep encouraging lawmakers to stand up for kids in the budget. Together, we'll make sure our legislators prioritize kids and families when drafting a final budget.