Governor’s Proposal Continues Healthy Kids Dental Expansion


The Healthy Kids Dental program is a public-private partnership between the Department of Community Health and Delta Dental of Michigan. The program is available to Medicaid-eligible children under age 21 in all but three counties. The program, administered by Delta Dental, uses Delta’s commercial network of dentists and pays higher rates than Medicaid.

Kalamazoo and Macomb counties were added Oct. 1, 2014, bringing the total number of children covered to 611,000 but leaving a large population of low-income kids behind in Kent, Oakland and Wayne counties – nearly 400,000 kids.

The governor’s recommendation for the budget starting Oct. 1, 2015 includes $7.5 million in state funds, for a total of $22 million with federal funds, to expand Healthy Kids Dental coverage to children under age 9 in Kent, Oakland and Wayne counties. This proposal would add another 210,000 children to the program for a total of 821,000, but leaves behind more than 170,000 children age 9 and older.

Bridge Magazine: With state welfare cuts, caseworkers fear less time to help families

Toni Scott of Grand Rapids woke up one morning in 2005 and her arm felt numb and sore, as if she’d slept on it wrong. It turned out she had multiple sclerosis. The debilitating disease attacked her nervous system and shut down her ability to run the cleaning service she started that brought in about $1,200 a month. March 31, 2015 — Bridge Magazine

MLIVE: Report: More than a third of Washtenaw County residents can’t make ends meet

A report released Monday morning by the Center for Labor and community Studies at the University of Michigan-Dearborn says 37 percent of Washtenaw County independent workers do not make enough money to meet their basic needs. March 30, 2015 — MLIVE

Now it’s in, now it’s not: the adult education funding zigzag

There were some mixed messages coming out of the Legislature last week: the Senate School Aid Appropriations Subcommittee strengthened funding for adult education, while its counterpart subcommittee in the House eliminated it entirely.

After the Michigan League for Public Policy testified before the Senate subcommittee urging more money for adult education, the subcommittee passed a budget adding $7 million for that purpose. (more…)

Holland Sentinel: Our View: Early childhood programs among best investments

One of the most encouraging signs on the political landscape in Lansing in the past couple of years has been the growing recognition that it’s cheaper to deal with social problems by preventing them before they occur than once they’re persistent and entrenched. March 29, 2015 — Holland Sentinel


Dome Magazine: Bang!

U.S. District Judge Terrence was shot outside his Detroit home by two young adults. Berg’s wife, Anita Sevier, told the community, “Instead of being angry, be part of the solution for the hopeless teens and children of Detroit.” March 27, 2015 — Dome Magazine

Detroit Free Press: House bill on chronic truancy would cut cash assistance

LANSING – Chronically truant students could cause a family to lose cash assistance benefits from the state under a bill passed in the House of Representatives on Thursday. March 26, 2015 — Detroit Free Press

Detroit Metro Times: Politics and Prejudices Michigan sailing down the drain

There’s no doubt that a lot of people want to destroy the middle class. Ever since Ronald Reagan took office in 1981, there’s been a steady and successful push to transfer a vast amount of the nation’s wealth from the poor to the rich.

This is, as has often been said, the most undercovered story in America. What’s more, we seem intent on doing as much as we can to make it harder and harder for the disadvantaged to lift themselves out of poverty. March 25, 2015 — Detroit Metro Times


The Detroit News: GOP House panel rejects Snyder school initiatives

Lansing — A state House committee on Tuesday rejected funding for most of Gov. Rick Snyder’s major education initiatives, setting the stage for negotiations on school funding between Republican legislative leaders and the GOP executive. March 24, 2015 — The Detroit News


MLIVE: ‘Parental responsibility act’ to cut off welfare cash if kids miss school approved by Michigan House

Michigan families with a child who regularly misses school could miss out on welfare cash assistance under a under a bill approved Thursday by the state House. March 26, 2015 — MLIVE

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