Renewing Early Start

The Budget Conference Committee has voted unanimously to renew Early Start! This vote will provide the funding to restore eligibility to pre-2009 levels, beginning on January 1, 2015. It works hand-in-glove with Trailer Bill Language that was just released, which will create the legal basis for the change (simultaneously creating the program need for the money now budgeted). As a footnote, by setting the start date on January 1, the first year cost is cut in half – which is why the actual amount approved was $7.85 million instead of $15.7 million. Going forward, starting in Fiscal Year 2015-16, full funding of $15.7 million will occur.

However, several steps in the Budget process remain. Ultimately, this – and all other elements of the Budget, taken as a single bill – must be approved by the Legislature. This will happen this Sunday afternoon, at 4pm. It may be watched online. The Budget, along with the Trailer Bills, will then be sent to the Governor for his review. He must sign the Budget no later than midnight June 30th.