Now that I’ve got your attention–and perhaps gotten you a bit riled up–I want you to take action. Lawmakers in the great state of Missouri are threatening the funding for First Steps. First Steps is the Missouri organization responsible for providing services to children, birth through age 3, who have disabilities or developmental delays. If First Steps loses funding, then those children and families who depend on First Steps–children like Peanut and families like mine–will lose vital services.
What do I want you to do about it? If you live in Missouri, I want you to visit a Web site, then make a phone call. Make 20. Write a letter. Send an email. Tell your Senator that you want to save First Steps–and that political maneuvering with a program that impacts our very youngest children with disabilities is absolutely unacceptable.
What Web site? This one: http://www.senate.mo.gov/LegisLookup/Leg_Lookup.aspx/leg_lookup.aspx
This is a site that allows you to look up your Missouri Senator by your ZIP code. If you’re not able to use the site (I don’t use a screen reader myself, so can’t swear to its accessibility), tell me your ZIP code in the comments, and I’ll look your Senator up for you and respond with his/her contact information.
Want more information? I can help you with that!
Missouri First Steps’ Web site: https://www.mofirststeps.com/
Articles about Missouri’s budget and the potential defunding of First Steps:
- The Kansas City Star, “Nixon Urges Full Funding for Early Intervention Program,” http://www.kansascity.com/2013/05/14/4234921/nixon-urges-full-funding-for-early.html
- The Kansas City Star, “Missouri Lawmakers Seek Sure Funding for Disabled Children’s Program,” http://www.kansascity.com/2013/05/13/4232433/missouri-lawmakers-seek-sure-funding.html
- News-Leader.com, “Nixon Seeks ‘Fix’ on Funds for Kids With Disabilities,” http://www.news-leader.com/article/20130514/NEWS01/305140118/Nixon-calls-on-lawmakers-to-find-funds-for-children-with-disabilities
- The Missouri Times, “GOP Senator Filibusters Budget Bill Over First Steps Funding,” http://themissouritimes.com/3067/gop-senator-filibusters-budget-bill-over-first-start-funding/
- News Tribune.com, “Mo. Budget Creates Choice Between Seniors, Kids,” http://www.newstribune.com/news/2013/may/09/mo-budget-creates-choice-between-seniors-kids/