One of the many odd things about the mysterious formula that hosed Henderson County in daycare support for single moms and needy working families is the winners and losers.
Upon closer examination, it looks like the formula was devised by Democrats.
That surprised me, knowing that Republicans now control the Legislature with near veto-proof majorities. But the funding formula, said state Sen. Tom Apodaca, R-Hendersonville, was created by the Gov. Bev Perdue’s Department of Health and Human Services, not the Legislature. It’s the Legislature that may try to pressure HHS to change it, or at least explain it.
While the partisan analysis does not hold for every county, the new formula does seem to punish quite a few counties that are reliably in the Republican column.
“We’ve been working on it for a month,” said Apodaca, whose role as Senate Rules chairman makes him either the third or fourth most powerful elected official in North Carolina (probably third as long as House Speaker Thom Tillis is dealing with what looks like weekly affair eruptions between his staff members and Raleigh lobbyists).
As the HendersonvilleLightning.com reported on Tuesday, the revised funding formula whacked Henderson County with the fifth highest cut in money ($633,350) and ninth largest by percentage (19.5).
The Children and Family Resource Center has its hands full carrying out its core mission — advocating for children. They are trying to do that. They’ve spoken with Apodaca and state Rep. Chuck McGrady, the freshman Republican who has always been a strong advocate of Child Protective Services (which was also cut) and whose family has been one of the biggest supporters ever of the Children and Family Resource Center.
Elisha Freeman, the executive director of the non-profit agency, told me that she has been trying to contact state Rep. Trudi Walend, too. Why should Walend help? Her home of Transylvania County was one of just 27 counties that saw an increase in funding, even though it has zero children on the daycare subsidy waiting list. Polk County, which has two children on its waiting list, suffered a cut of just $1,592. Walend represents Transylvania and Polk counties and the slice of Henderson County along the SC border.
Buncombe County, with 992 children waiting for help, got $742,059 whacked from its budget. Henderson County has 212 on the waiting list, and 200 subsidized slots could be cut by July 1, DSS officials say.
We’ll keep you posted.