More than one hundred people came together on June 3 for a forum that examined how children and their families fared in the 2015 legislative session. Amy Blouin began the legislative wrap-up with an overview of the FY2016 budget. She highlighted some of the positive gains in funding for children’s programs (Parents as Teachers and improvements in child care subsidies for low income parents). Blouin also advised that tax cuts enacted last year will result in a growing shortfall of funds in meeting the basic needs of the state and its people, and offered some solutions to meet this challenge. You can view her presentation here. Judy Dungan, with the Missouri Children’s Leadership Council, focused on the passage of laws including those that promote the use of safe sleeping practices for young children in child care settings, child-proof packaging of E-cigs, mental health and other services for children/youth who abuse other children. A punitive welfare reform bill was also enacted that will mean that an estimated 6,310 children will lose benefits beginning January 1, 2016. View Judy’s presentation here. Emily van Schenkof provided an overview of the important work that Missouri Kids First does to improve policy regarding child welfare issues and to prevent child abuse/neglect.