People of faith are called by that faith

to speak for all children.

March 19, 2009

LEGISLATION UPDATE:   

CROSSOVER DAY SUCCESSES

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1.  SB 92-Medicaid/PeachCare Conversion a "No Go" 

Thank you! for your help in ensuring that SB 92 did not clear the Senate by March 12.  As reported, SB 92 attempted to change Georgia's cost-effective Medicaid and PeachCare coverage into a premium assistance program, requiring the state to purchase "benchmark" plans for many members. 

 

The implementation of SB 92 would have reduced the proportion of taxpayer money that is actually spent for much needed healthcare, decreased public accountability, added confusion and administrative burdens for providers and potentially impeded overall patient care.

 

Next Action Step:  Say "Thank you" to your legislators.

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2.  SB 69 Beat Crossover Day to the House

SB 69 crossed over to the House prior to March 12. This bill expands the child abuse mandatory reporting law so that sexual exploitation in all cases--not just those where a "parent or caretaker" is suspected--are reported as child abuse. Rep. Amy Carter (D-Valdosta) will carry SB 69 in the House.  

 

The bill is in the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee and has been assigned to the Ramsey Subcommittee. Since this session ends on April 3, we only have a few more days for this bill to clear subcommittee, committee, Rules and be voted on in the House. 

 

Next Action Step:  Urge your legislators and members of the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee to vote "Yes" on SB 69. 

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LEGISLATION UPDATE:   
CROSSOVER DAY CASUALTIES

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"We cannot give up on our children." 

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1. Just Say "No" to Sexually Exploited Children

Senate Bill 91 failed to pass out of the Senate on March 12.  SB 91 creates a $5 per patron surcharge on adult entertainment clubs.  The funds would go directly to the the Crime Victims Emergency Fund to help commercially sexually exploited minors. Although this bill did not survive the 2009 session, we cannot give up on our children.

"Disappointing as it was to see this good bill fall by the wayside, rest assured advocates will regroup post-session and come back next year to continue the fight so stay tuned," stated Janice Barrocas of A Future.Not a Past.

 

Keeping the Conversation Alive

To ensure that the prostitution of children stays in the forefront, Senator Renee Unterman introduced another study committee resolution.  SR 506, "Senate Study Committee on Mental Health Continuum Care," calls for a seven-member study committee to "undertake a study of the conditions, needs, issues, and problems" experienced by sexually exploited children and "investigate and examine the services available across the public and private sectors capable of recognizing and treating mental health issues in minors."

 

This resolution only needs to pass the full Senate by the end of the 40th Day or April 3. It is now in the Senate Health & Human Services Committee

 

Our sincere thanks to everyone for your unyielding support and hard work.  And the work continues.

 

Next Action Step:  Please contact members of the Senate Health & Human Services Committee to express your support for Senate Resolution 506 before April 3.

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2.  HB 39-Cigarette Tax Increase Suppressed for 2009

HB 39 did not receive a second subcommittee hearing in time to reach the House floor by March 12. ICM supports HB 39. This bill calls for a $1 per pack tax increase on cigarettes sold in Georgia. 

 

In these hard economic times, the revenue generated from this tax increase could be a vital source of funding for children's healthcare, such as PeachCare.  The effort must continue to raise the importance of this bill to our legislators.

 

Next Action Step:  Please remember to set up a post-session appointment with your legislators to discuss this issue.

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3.  HB 37 - Parent Protection Act

HB 37, which allows limited, unpaid, job-protected leave for parents to attend a child's school conference or for attending medical appointments for their children, themselves or an elderly parent, did not receive a hearing and did not clear the House by March 12.

 

"We are deeply disappointed the House leadership refused to have a hearing of the bill," stated Mary Frances Williams, ICM board member.

 

However, the effort continues to seek ways to sustain the conversation and energy around HB 37.

 

Next Action Step:  Please remember to set up a post-session appointment with your legislators to discuss this issue.

What's going on under the Gold Dome?

Daily Legislative Updates

The following links take you to Web sites that provide daily updates on the legislative activity at the Capitol.  Check out these sites to find out how your legislators are addressing your needs and the needs of Georgia's children.GPB LawmakersVoices for Georgia's Children

Georgia.gov

Spiritual Witness for Children

One of the most important things faith communities can do for children is to pray for them.

 

Every child is a child of God and deserves justice and compassion. Every child deserves our prayers. 

 

ICM encourages every faith community to become a spiritual witness for children. Hold a worship service in your church, synagogue, mosque or temple and invite others to join in praying for the well-being of all children.

 

Send this publication as a Web link

ICM Advocacy Alert

 

"ICM on TV" 

Watch an interview with Rev. Byron E. Thomas, ICM Chair, on S.E.G.W.A.Y.  "A Bridge to Community Engagement."  The feature will air Friday, March 20, at 12:00 p.m. on Comcast Channel 24.   

School to Prison Pipeline Community Education Forum

Anyone with a stake in social justice for children should attend this event.  The forum will be held Saturday, April 4, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Adamsville Community Center at 3201 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, Atlanta.  To register, call 770-648-7998 or send an e-mail to: gsustopprisonpipeline@gmail.com.  For additional information, you can also go to ICM's Web site.

Mark Your Calendar Worthwhile Events by ICM, 

ICM Partners & Others

Full ICM Calendar

Friday, March 20

12:00 p.m.

ICM featured on S.E.G.W.A.Y. 
Watch an interview with Rev. Byron E. Thomas, ICM Chair, on S.E.G.W.A.Y. "A Bridge into Community Engagement" on March 20, 2009, at 12:00 p.m. on Comcast Channel 24. 

 

Tuesday, March 31
Deadline for submissions to "THE PRAYERS PROJECT."

 

For more information, please contact Pamela Ayo Yetunde prayersproject@comcast.net

 

Saturday, April 4

10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Stop the School-to-Prison Pipeline Community Education Forum, sponsored by GA State University MSW students, ACLU, ICM, Gwinnett Parent Coalition and Citizens for Better Education, will be held at Adamsville Community Center at 3201 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, Atlanta.  For more information and to register, call 770-648-7998 or write to gsustopprisonpipeline@gmail.comor go to ICM's Web site
for additional information.

 

Tuesday, April 7
6:30 p.m. 

ICM Advocacy Committee meeting at Frazier, Soloway & Poorack, P.C., 1800 Century Place, Suite 100, Atlanta. 

 

Tuesday, April 216:30 p.m. ICM General Membership Meeting at Druid Hills United Methodist Church, 1200 Ponce de Leon Ave., Atlanta. 

 

The following topics will be presented:"Children in Foster Care"  (invited to present, Tom Rawlings, Georgia Child Advocate) 

 

"Children with Disabilities"  (presenters Jo Ellen 

Hancock and Sharon Jones, Parent Mentors, Cherokee County School District); and

 

"Prevention of Child Abuse"  (presenter DePriest Waddy, CEO, Prevent Child Abuse Georgia)

ICM Mission and Goals

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The Interfaith Children's Movement was formed in 2001 as an intentional association of individuals and communities of faith from all religious traditions.

The Interfaith Children's Movement strives to be a voice for all Georgia children, but especially the poor and marginalized whose voices are often unheard.  

 

ICM works closely with Georgia's policy-oriented child advocacy organizatons, such as: 

  • Voices for Georgia's Children, 

  • The Barton Child Law and Policy Clinic at Emory University, 

  • Georgia Appleseed, 

  • JUSTGeorgia, 

  • Prevent Child Abuse Georgia and 

  • A Future.Not a Past. (child prostitution prevention).  

These organizations set the agenda for our advocacy work for children.  

ICM's faith community members provide a megaphone to the legislature about what needs to be done for children.

Doing what we are called to do. 

 Doing what we are able to do.  

 Doing what must be done! 

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