House Concurrent Resolution No. 56






Relating to the Missouri child poverty council.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the state of Missouri, as follows:

            Now, therefore, be it resolved that the members of the House of Representatives of the Ninety-fifth General Assembly, Second Regular Session, the Senate concurring therein, hereby establish the "Missouri Child Poverty Council" to examine child poverty in Missouri and make recommendations to the Governor and General Assembly on methods of improving the financial stability and well-being of children; and

            Be it further resolved that the Council shall include, but not be limited to, the following members:


            (1) Two members of the Missouri Senate and two members of the Missouri House of Representatives with equal party representation to be designated by each house's party leadership on a bi-annual basis;


            (2) A representative from each of the following departments: social services, health and senior services, elementary and secondary education, and economic development;

            (3) A representative from a legal services organization;

            (4) A representative from a maternal and/or child health advocacy organization;

            (5) One representative each from Citizens for Missouri's Children and Partnership for Children;

            (6) A representative from a community action agency;

            (7) A representative from a faith-based organization;

            (8) A parent serving on a Head Start Parent Advisory Council to be designated by the Missouri Head Start Collaboration Office; and

            (9) A representative from the University of Missouri system; and

            Be it further resolved that the Council may adopt all rules it deems necessary to enable it to conduct its meetings, elect its officers, and set the terms and duties of its officers. The Council shall elect from among its members a chairperson, vice chairperson, a secretary-reporter, and such other officers as it deems necessary. Members of the Council shall serve without compensation but may be reimbursed for actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their official duties as members of the Council; and

            Be it further resolved that the Council shall develop a ten-year plan to reduce the number of children living in poverty in the state by at least 50%. In developing the working plan, the Council shall first consult with experts, with parents of children living in poverty, and with providers of services to children and families living in poverty. The Council shall hold one public forum in each of Missouri's nine congressional districts during the 2011 legislative interim to inform citizens on the creation of the plan. The plan shall contain:


            (1) An identification and analysis of the occurrence of poverty in the state;

            (2) An analysis of the long-term effects of child poverty on children, their families, and their communities;

            (3) An analysis of costs of child poverty to municipalities and the state;

            (4) An inventory of statewide public and private programs that address child poverty;

            (5) The percentage of the target population served by such programs and the current state funding levels for such programs;

            (6) An identification and analysis of any deficiencies or inefficiencies of such programs; and

            (7) Procedures and priorities for implementing strategies and biannual benchmarks to achieve at least a 50% reduction in child poverty in the state by January 31, 2020. Such procedures, priorities, and benchmarks shall include, but not be limited to, improving or adequately funding:

            (a) Workforce training and placement to promote career progression for parents of children living in poverty;

            (b) Educational opportunities, including higher education opportunities, and advancement for such parents and children, including, but not limited to, pre-literacy, literacy, and family literacy programs;

            (c) Affordable housing for such parents and children;

            (d) Early care and educational programs for such children and their families;

            (e) After-school programs and mentoring programs for such children and their families;

            (f) Affordable health care access for such parents and children, including access to mental health services and family planning;

            (g) Treatment programs and services, including substance abuse programs and services, for such parents and children; and

            (h) Accessible childhood nutrition programs; and

            Be it further resolved that not later than September 2012 during the annual veto session, the Council shall submit the working plan to the Governor, General Assembly, and all state departments. In September 2013 and annually thereafter until September 2022, the Council shall report to the Governor, the General Assembly, and all state departments on annual progress toward benchmarks, updates to the plan, and recommendations for budgetary and policy changes in order to accomplish the goals of this resolution; and

            Be it further resolved that the Council shall terminate on June 30, 2023; and

            Be it further resolved that this resolution be sent to the Governor for his approval or rejection pursuant to the Missouri Constitution.