$20 million: VC Children & Families First urging public input on program needs

February 02, 2000
Santa Paula News
There’s millions of dollars out there - about $20 million actually - and your input is being sought on how it should be spent: The Children and Families First Commission of Ventura County (CFFCVC) will be holding a meeting to address a funding plan for the use of monies granted to the county under Proposition 10, the Tobacco Tax Initiative, to support and improve early childhood development from prenatal to age 5. The meeting - the only one to be held in the Santa Clara River Valley - will be held Thursday, Feb. 3 in Fillmore City Hall Council Chambers, 250 Central Ave.“We’re holding meetings throughout the county so it’s more convenient for people to attend and help determine how this money is spent,” said Sharon Rasmussen of the CFFCVC.At stake is about $20 million earmarked for Ventura County garnered from the Prop. 10 tax approved by voters that placed a 50 cent tax on each pack of cigarettes.Rasmussen said the funds could be used to “enhance child care programs, perhaps partnering with existing programs to expand, or the funds could create a program to educate pregnant mothers and fathers,” to be better parents through an information packet that goes home with the baby listing all programs to enhance parenting.The possibilities are endless when you’re working that amount of money: services that could in the development and school readiness of children and additional medical and dental services to improve health, as example.The commission is responsible for the decisions regarding the use of the Prop. 10 funds and includes Supervisor Kathy Long, Ventura County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Charles Weis, Interface Executive Director Charles Watson and Ventura County Health Officer Dr. Robert Levin, among others.
The amount of funding going to each county is based on the number of births and could start flowing into county coffers by July, after the CFFCVC strategic plan is approved by the state.“It’s a wonderful opportunity for each community member to make a difference so in the future we’ll have happy families and children and strong citizens,” said Rasmussen.For more information, call 642-4418.

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