Washington – The White House today released President Barack Obama’s federal fiscal year 2015 budget proposal. Though some historical tables will be released later this month, the proposal released today cites several specific initiatives important to America’s children:

  • Reiterates the administration’s commitment to the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP);
  • Makes permanent “Express-Lane Eligibility” option to reduce unnecessary red tape for children enrolling in CHIP or Medicaid;
  • Makes permanent improvements in the Child Tax Credit, Earned Income Tax Credit, and American Opportunity Tax Credit enacted through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and extended by the 2012 “fiscal cliff” budget agreement;
  • Makes a renewed call for a federal-state partnership aimed at improving the affordability and quality of pre-Kindergarten;
  • Improves the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit to make child care more affordable for families with young children; and
  • Establishes a new Medicaid demonstration project that encourages states to curb the over-prescription of psychotropic medications and offer evidence-based psychosocial interventions to children and youth in foster care;
  • Proposes a $56 billion “Opportunity, Growth, and Security Initiative,” half of which would restore funding to levels in place prior to 2013’s federal budget sequestration, which impacted child nutrition, K-12 education, child care for working families, housing and assistance for homeless children, and other critical children’s initiatives.

First Focus will release a detailed analysis of the president’s budget, following the White House’s release of the budget’s historical tables. In response to today’s budget proposal, the bipartisan children’s advocacy organization First Focus released the following statement by First Focus president Bruce Lesley:

“President Obama’s budgets have consistently invested in kids, and his 2015 proposal again delivers for children. The president’s budget recognizes that the Children’s Health Insurance Program and Express Lane Eligibility have been successful. The Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit lift millions of children out of poverty, and making the 2009 improvements permanent should be a no-brainer for Congress. For two consecutive years, the president has challenged Congress to make pre-K better and more affordable – it’s time for Congress to rise to the challenge.”