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Children First working for the children this Legislative Session

For more than 29 years, Children First has been the go-to organization supporting and protecting children in the Alabama Legislature. Our goal is to accurately examine each bill introduced and analyze its lasting impact on Alabama's children. Children First is concerned with all aspects of child welfare, including mental health, foster care, nutrition, education, and the overall health of children.

Twenty-six years ago, Children First passed the first bill to increase Alabama's tobacco tax and establish the Children First Trust Fund. This trust fund will ensure that approximately $40 million of the Alabama Tobacco Tax Settlement will support 12 state departments that work directly with children. Children First continues to advocate for these funds each year and asks that they continue to support children's services across the state.

Since its founding, Children First has worked on countless bills to improve the lives of Alabama's children. Over the past year, Children First has worked with legislators to pass legislation including the Guardian Ad Litem Act (HB244, SB149, sponsored by Representative Crawford and Senator Givan) and the Cannabinoid Act (SB66, sponsored by Senator Melson). Two bills were introduced and passed. The Guardian ad Litem bill would increase the Guardian ad Litem payment from $2,500 to $5,000. This bill is especially important for foster children in Alabama because their relationships with attorneys are built through their fight for parental stability. Another Children First bill was the Cannabinoids Act, which addressed the issue of hemp derivatives being packaged in candy and sold to minors. Prior to the law, there were no regulations for these candies. This law puts hemp candy products behind the sales counter and requires anyone purchasing the products to be at least 21 years old. Additionally, Children First monitored and monitored over 125 of her other bills that directly impact the lives of Alabama's children.

This year, Children First's legislative agenda includes children's access to vaping products, mental health services for children, health insurance for those in coverage gaps, foster care, grandparents' rights, and continuing education. and Children First succession issues. A trust fund bill and many other bills related to children will be introduced during the session.

said Executive Director Katie Jeter. We look forward to educating legislators on all things related to Alabama's children and the issues surrounding them. Our goal is to ensure that every child in Alabama has access to every opportunity to grow throughout their childhood and become successful adults. ”

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