Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY– During the Special Session Alabama’s Legislature successfully passed a bill that will directly benefit thousands of our state’s children. This bill will keep funding from the Children First Trust Fund intact so that state agencies that provide services to children can continue their work.
The Children First Trust Fund is the backbone of support that allows many state agencies to provide programs and support for Alabama’s children and families. With the dollars they receive from the fund, agencies are able to support and assist more than 350,000 children every year in our state.
The trust fund comes from the national tobacco settlement – the funds are neither tax money nor federal dollars. It was protected through the legislative process by Rep. Jim Barton of Mobile and Senator Arthur Orr of Decatur. They insured that the fund maintained its original form as it traveled through the Statehouse.
In a time when the media is filled with tragic stories of children suffering, these agencies’ services are more important than ever. The dollars that agencies receive are spent in a very accountable way. Each year, the agencies funded by the Children First Trust Fund are required to report how every dollar is spent and how many children and families were served. The accountability within this fund is exactly what our current state leadership says it desires for all state dollars.
The bill has passed both the Senate and House and now sits on Governor Bentley’s desk awaiting his approval to be signed into law.
Despite facing one of the worst budgets in recent memory, our legislature has successfully defended the state’s smallest citizens – our children. Now the Governor must do the same.
About Children First Foundation
Children First Foundation is a non-profit non-partisan organization dedicated to improving the lives of Alabama’s children and families by shaping public policy. The Foundation was formed because our states’ leaders and child advocates saw a need to advocate for children in the halls of Alabama’s legislature. For more information, please visit www.alabamachildrenfirst.com