More Amendments & Budget Deliberations
Happy Sunday, all! This coming week is the week of budget deliberations by the full board. At this point, the budget has gone through each standing committee (Health & Human Needs, Public Protection & Judiciary, Energy Agriculture & Natural Resources, Executive, Public Works, Zoning & Land Regulation, and Personnel & Finance. Each committee had public hearings for comment from citizens and stakeholders. We had three public hearings with the full county board. Personnel & Finance completed their independent review and pared down the amendments. And finally, starting tomorrow evening, we begin deliberation as a full board. Below are some of the other amendments that I’m proud to support, in addition to those which were previously covered. Many of these amendments address issues that our community is currently facing.
You can see the full list of Operating Budget amendments here, and the full list of Capitol Budget amendments here. There are a few more amendments which are being brought forward on the county board floor - you can find those in the links on the general agenda.
Funding Immigration Assistance Fund - HHN-O-03
This amendment represents a commitment to match the City of Madison with $100,000 of support for our immigrant community. $70,000 of this will be directed towards the Immigration Assistance Fund, which will be used for wraparound discretionary funds. The other $30,000, included in the County Executive’s budget, goes towards a discretionary fund with our Immigration Affairs Specialist with the county. We have seen a large scale assault on the legitimacy and humanity of our immigrant neighbors. As a county, we reject these actions, and are doing what we can to make sure that we can empower the Latinx, Hmong, and other endangered communities in caring for each other in these times.
Increasing the funding for a Transgender Health Advocate with Outreach Inc - HHN-O-01
Outreach, Inc currently receives state funding for a .25 FTE employee to work on health issues unique to transgender and gender non-conforming people in Dane County. At their request, we are increasing this position to .5 FTE to increase their ability to work with insurance companies and healthcare providers, train medical students and residents, and support transgender individuals who are struggling to navigate the healthcare system. Transgender individuals are fighting daily for their rights at a federal level, and it is our sincere hope that this small gesture can make the transgender experience in Dane County, at least, less challenging. To learn more about issues affecting the lives of transgender people, including increased risk of violence, unemployment, mental health risks, and more, please head here.
Increase sexual assault prevention services - HHN-O-10
The last three years have been traumatic to sexual assault survivors, have, hopefully, prompted a dramatic shift in justice for sexual assault perpetrators, and have prompted everyone to look more closely at what we teach our youth about sex and consent. The County Board is poised to add $20,000 to our existing sexual assault prevention programming in a nod to the need to have deeper conversations about sexual consent with middle and high school students in Dane County.
Increasing the Affordable Housing Development Fund by an additional $3 million - P&F-C-01
Housing continues to be a issue across the country, and Dane County is no exception. Decades of research proves that providing affordable housing to families and individuals is one of the most effective ways to lift families out of poverty. Over 22,000 very low income households in Dane County pay over 30% of their income towards housing. This commitment will continue our progress in assuring safe, affordable housing for everyone in Dane County.
I’ll continue to introduce amendments that I’m supporting here. Please reach out if you have any questions or concerns at any time. If you’d like to submit your support for a specific amendment to all supervisors, please send an email to County_Board_Recipients@countyofdane.com