First 5 LA Concerned Kids Could Face Waves of Setbacks in State & Federal Investments in Young Children

LOS ANGELES – Children’s health and education would be among the greatest casualties in Los Angeles County under cuts outlined in the Trump Administration’s budget proposal released today, says the leader of one of the county’s leading advocacy organizations for young children and their families.

While the Trump Administration’s proposal for fiscal year 2018 would increase defense spending by $54 billion, it would offset that increase by stripping funds from more than 18 other federal agencies, including $9 billion from the Department of Education. Health and Human Services faces the deepest cuts: roughly $12.6 billion, or a 16 percent reduction from 2017.

Today’s budget proposal comes at the same time the Republican health care bill is being considered in Congress, estimated by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office to cut Medicaid $880 billion over 10 years. These federal proposals come on the heels of a state budget proposal that delays needed and promised investments in early learning.

Kim Belshé, Executive Director of First 5 LA, a leading early childhood advocacy organization and public grantmaker, released the follow statement regarding the Trump Administration’s budget proposal:

“California kids may be subjected to successive waves of setbacks. The looming threat of cuts to the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid, a proposed state budget that delays promised investments for kids, plus the Trump Administration’s proposed cuts today represent severe setbacks for young children and their families in Los Angeles County and throughout the state.

“While President Trump’s budget lacked details surrounding vital early childhood programs like Head Start and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), First 5 LA is deeply concerned that the administration is cutting funds for programs that help our country’s children thrive. Medicaid, CHIP, and Head Start are critical to the health and well-being of L.A. County’s children.

“The federal budget is a statement about national priorities. We want to learn more about the Administration’s level of commitment toward the building blocks of our future, our young children and their families. We urge the Trump Administration and Congress to sustain, expand and improve these important investments in children’s health and well-being, rather than eliminating funds for the agencies that implement them.

“We hope to work with members of Congress and the Administration to strengthen the impact of local investments in L.A. County and extend program benefits to families, communities and businesses around the country.”

The Administration’s more detailed budget will be released in the spring and the final 2018 budget needs to be adopted by October. First 5 LA will continue to monitor federal budget developments and advocate for investments in the health and well-being of L.A. County’s youngest residents. The Administration’s proposed budget in full can be found HERE.