Voices follows bills that can affect children and families as they work their way through the legislative process. Every week during legislative session, we publish the legislative update, which you’ll find below.
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Today, the day before Valentine’s Day, “normal” people like yourselves, are tee-ing up rose deliveries, chocolate-covered strawberries, and candle-lit dinners. Many are also preparing a declaration of love, whether by card, candy heart, spoken word, or 1980’s playlist. I, on the other hand, am fretting about things other than calories, flowers, and proposals, as the world prepares to honor the patron saint of courtly love. (BTW, the dude was also patron saint of epilepsy, beekeepers, and an Italian town named Terni! I guess sainthood works like a charm bracelet where the “charm” parts actually are supposed to function.) What could I possibly have to think about other than the imminent arrival of bouquets from George Clooney, Colin Firth, or Denzel Washington? Well, a true and dedicated child advocate like myself, couldn’t care less about the adoration of handsome, rich, and famous middle-aged men. A true and dedicated child advocate instead worries about the most important baby of the day: CUPID! And my concerns look like this:
- Why is he nearly naked?!! Doesn’t he know that it’s February, for Zeus’ sake?! Put some clothes on!
- Does Cupid support a tax exemption on diapers (HB 211)? Not that he seems to be wearing any, which is also a problem considering he is flying over us.
- Does Cupid have a birth certificate (SB 64) and if so, is it in Greek or Latin? History.com says he was “born of the World Egg” and also born to Venus and Mars. Which is it? – and if it is the egg thing, how do you count that year in vital records?
- Will Cupid’s bow and arrows be able to get through the Capitol metal detector?
- What does Cupid’s photo ID look like? A valentine’s card?
- Does he need a permit for his weapons? Or training? Or a weapon safe? Are Venus and Mars in trouble for letting him play with pointy arrows?
- Is he caught up on his vaccinations? (I hope so!) Are they administered with his own arrows, via a lightning bolt, or by quill?
- Is he in Early Head Start? Does he use childcare subsidies (CAPS)? Will he have access to CAPS when the federal dollars from the COVID monies run out?
- When he’s zipping around, does he have to stop for school buses like the rest of us (HB 301)?
- And then there’s his mom –
- Did she have a certified Home Visitor to help her while she was pregnant and after the winged bundle-of-joy was born?
- Did she have midwife (SB 81)?
- Did she use telemedicine for her maternal care (SB 106)?
- Could she access TANF benefits while pregnant (HB 129)? – see today’s action alert!
- Did Mars (or the World Egg) have to take a paternity test (SB 135)?
- And finally, is anyone else worried that some military missile will mistake baby Cupid for a “weather” balloon?
If any of you know the answer to any of these questions, please let me know ASAP. I can barely stand the stress of it all! Somebody, quick, give me a glass of champagne with a strawberry in it! And read me a poem with mediocre meter and rhyme! And candles, I need candles! Oh – Thanks, Colin. Very helpful. Now I can relax. Baby Cupid, good luck. Text me if you spot a missile, but otherwise, you’re gonna have to wait on the lawmakers to figure out all the other stuff.
The 2 Minute Advocacy Ask: TANF for Pregnant Women
Call members of the Georgia House of Representatives TODAY and ask them to vote YES on House Bill 129 this MONDAY MORNING when it comes before them on the House floor.
What’s in the Bill:
- House Bill 129 would support families overall well-being in the following ways:
- Expand family’s access to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families by expanding eligibility to include pregnant women who do not currently have other children
- Eliminates language that caps a family’s benefit amount if their family size increases
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is a cash support program, with an employment component, for families with low-income
- Currently, TANF is available for families with low-income with children under 18 years old and youth ages 18 years old and attending school full time. The inclusion of pregnant women without children would further support Georgia’s working families
- Check out the income requirements here
Dear Representative ______________,
Please vote YES on House Bill 129 when it comes before you MONDAY on the House floor. This bill helps pregnant women with low income and who do not have other children by allowing them access to cash assistance through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families block grant. These dollars are helpful in that they can be used to ensure good health and mental health by reducing poverty-related housing and nutrition stress during pregnancy. Thank you for your consideration of this issue and your work on behalf of all of Georgia’s children.
Don’t forget to mark your calendar for these events:
Wednesday, Feb. 15: Reception in Celebration of Children (5-7PM)
Tuesday’s starting Jan. 24: Talk Justice Tuesdays, CLICK HERE TO REGISTER
Wednesday, Feb. 22: Georgia ACT Housing Day at the Capitol, CLICK HERE TO REGISTER
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