Children First for Oregon’s United for Kids initiative made important progress in the lives of thousands of Oregon kids during the 2018 Legislative Session. With the partnership of over 100 advocacy organizations and a shared Children’s Agenda of policy solutions, United for Kids laid the groundwork needed to break the barriers holding too many children back. As we celebrate our successes for kids in 2018, we also look toward the 2019 session with strengthened resolve to target investments for children of color, kids with disabilities, and other disparately impacted populations in communities across Oregon. Leveling the playing field doesn’t happen overnight, and we will continue the work started in 2018 as we forge a pathway toward equity for kids. 2018 Children’s Agenda Successes
- Document Recording Fee: Increases the document recording fee when a person buys a home, which will generate an additional $60 million per biennium for programs that help prevent homelessness, build affordable housing, and provide home ownership assistance.
- Provide Continuity in Special Education: Allows for a smooth transition into the K-12 school system for children with developmental delays who receive special education services in preschool by aligning special education eligibility between Early Childhood Special Education and K-12 Special Education.
- Gun Safety: Close the Boyfriend Loophole: Adds abusive dating partners to the list of those prohibited from owning a gun in order to protect women and children from gun violence.
- School Mental Health Intervention Fund: Increases funding by $950,000 to place mental health providers in schools and school-based health centers in order to help prevent absenteeism and improve graduation rates.
- Oregon Hunger Response Fund: Invests $300,000 to improve capabilities of statewide food banks to receive, store, and distribute fresh, healthy food to families in need.
- Allow Families to Be Restored: Provides a pathway for the restoration of terminated parental rights when circumstances change and it is in the best interest of the child.