This week’s guest blogger is Virginia Senator Barbara Favola, who also happens to be a member of SCAN’s Honorary Board and a longtime supporter of our programs. Here she shares an update with us on what’s happening in Richmond and how it could impact children across Virginia.

Surprisingly enough, participating in the development of a State budget on the Senate side of the General Assembly proved to be satisfying.

For example, the Senate budget restores full funding to Child Advocacy Centers. Governor McDonnell had removed this money and I submitted a budget amendment to restore funding. Fortunately, my colleagues realized the importance of serving children who have been physically and sexually abused in a holistic way. Senator Howell was very helpful in this effort as well.

I am also delighted to report that there is an infusion of money in the Senate budget to create five child psychiatry demonstration projects in each region of the Commonwealth. These projects must be designed to improve the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental and emotional disorders in children. This is very exciting. I am hopeful that the two appropriations mentioned above will make it through the House and Senate conference deliberations. The House conferees are: Putney, Cox, M.K., Sherwood, Landes, Jones, Joannou.

I know that our kids are worth the fight and I am honored to be a warrior for such an important cause.

Will keep you posted,

– Sen. Barbara Favola, SCAN Honorary Board Member

UPDATE: At the time of posting, we received word that the Senate passed the budget on Wednesday (19-21).  Governor McDonnell now has seven days to make amendments before sending it back to the legislature for final passage in early May. We look forward to more updates from Senator Favola in the coming months!

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