Day at the Capitol Feb. 10th 2011


Faith Communities Working Together for Children

Thursday, February 10, 2011
8:30am – 3:00pm
The Connectional Ministries Advocacy Team welcomes you to your Day at the Capitol!  Prior to the day, it would be a good idea to contact your legislators and let them know that you will be participating in this joint Day at the Capitol on February 10.  Ask them for an appointment time so that you can speak with them in person.

**It is suggested that you ask for a morning appointment.  The afternoon can get busy with committee meetings.** 

However, as their constituents, most legislators will try to accommodate a time that is conducive for you.  If an office appointment time is not available, let your legislators know that you will seek an audience with them at the House and the Senate chambers.

Schedule of Events

8:30am – 9:20am
Gather at the Coverdell Legislative Office Building on Trinity Avenue for Orientation.
-Welcome & Devotional Moment
-Overview of advocacy issues/talking points
-How to engage your legislator training
-Group guide assignments

After the orientation: Option A

After the 8:30 a.m. Orientation, you may attend these special information sessions (hosted by Presbyterian Day at the Capitol) to get a greater understanding of the issues of Health Care, Immigration and Budget & Finance, and then proceed to the Capitol afterwards.

Central Presbyterian Church (located across from the State Capitol)
Sessions run from 9:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Health Care - Tim Sweeney, Georgia Budget and Policy Institute
Immigration - Larry Pellegrini, Georgia Rural Urban Summit
Budget and Finance - Sarah Beth Gehl, Deputy Director - Georgia Budget and Policy Institute

After the orientation: Option B

After the 8:30am orientation, you may choose to stay at the Capitol where you can: proceed to the House Gallery for the 10:00am devotion to be led by a United Methodist faith leader; proceed to the House and Senate chambers and begin the process of calling for your legislators and engaging them in discussions on children’s advocacy issues; or you can proceed to your pre-scheduled appointment(s), if applicable, with your legislators.

For more information

The orientation room in the Coverdell Legislative Office Building will be open to those who come to Day at the Capitol after 9:30am for assistance.  Please see an ICM volunteer once you arrive.   Also, there will be an additional Point Group stationed at the State Capitol at the 1st Floor breakroom to help persons with questions, directions, etc.

Please do not hesitate to contact ICM at or 770-498-2141.  Contact information would be UM contact number/e-mail address if persons are registering via the NGUMC Web site.

Children’s Advocacy Issues for 2010 ICM Day at the Capitol

  • Stopping Child Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking in Georgia:  “Freedom from Human Trafficking Act”  Awaiting Bill Sponsor and Bill Number
  • Juvenile Justice Campaign for Restorative Justice: “The Child Protection and Public Safety Act” is a complete re-write of Georgia's Juvenile Code (referred to as “The Children’s Code”) Bill sponsor is Sen. Bill Hamrick; Awaiting New Bill Number (current/old bill number is SB292
  • Provide for the Health of Georgia’s Children:  Health Care/PeachCare for Kids Funding; $1 Cigarette Tax
  • Education for all of Georgia’s Children:  Georgia's Universal Pre-K Program – Maintain funding;  Decrease the waiting list and increase availability by adding 10,000 slots
  • Children funneled through the School to Prison Pipeline / School Push Out
  • The School to Prison Pipeline and School Push Out primarily affect three categories of children in Georgia:  poor children; children with learning disabilities; and minority children—esp., African American and Hispanic children.
  • GA is 48th in the nation in graduation rates; yet, we’re the highest state in the nation in persons having some involvement in the criminal justice system (either currently serving or under some type of oversight within the system). 
  • Only 29% of GA’s 4th graders are on reading level, and more than 5,000 kindergarteners were suspended from school in the 2009 school year. 
  • In the same school year, GA’s students lost 1.8 million days of instruction due to in-school (ISS) and out-of-school (OSS) suspensions. 
  • GA has more than 200,000 children with a diagnosable “serious mental disturbance;” and yet, mental health is not a top priority in Georgia’s education system.
  • HB 23 – “Foster Children's Psychotropic Medication Monitoring Act” addresses the over-medication of children in foster care with psychotropic drugs
  • Poverty Relief/Childcare Assistance through Emergency TANF Funds (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) – What kind of match will Georgia make?
  • Flexible Sick Days for employees who are primary caregivers to attend to an ill family member or family member’s medical appointment.

Georgia Budget & Policy Institute (GBPI) Analysis

The governor's FY 2012 budget proposal is disappointing in that it does not take a balanced approach to solving the state deficit.  The budget contains additional cuts to education, with significant cuts to higher education, as well as cuts in services to our most vulnerable populations. A balanced approach to the fiscal crisis that includes additional revenues would assure that the factors most important to economic growth in the state, such as higher education, receive the necessary resources for Georgia to prosper.