This legislative session I have been to several Public Health Committee hearings and the Appropriations Committee hearing at which I testified. I noticed many interest groups and most of them are asking for money. They either want an increase in funding or they don’t want their funding to be cut. The issues being brought to the committees are important ones, including funding for: mental health programs, autism services, domestic violence centers, LifeStar, a diaper bank, after school programs, home care for the elderly, medical interpretation and many more. I don’t envy legislators in this session, having to balance the budget while trying to ensure that the needs of CT residents are met.
I’m not the only one who’s noticed that the interest groups are asking for funding. It was the topic of discussion at the lunch table with some legislative clerks. One person asked, “Why are all of these groups asking for money when they know we don’t have any?” My answer was that maybe each group believes legislators will make an exception for them.
Our Health Advocacy Toolbox has some relevant advice under Tips No Advocate Should Forget:
· Understand that everyone [meaning advocates] wants what they want.
· While your issue is your top priority, you need to understand that policymakers have to balance everyone’s priorities.