Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Safe Families Update

On Wednesday last week, I testified in front of a Senate Committee (I keep forgetting which one - but it had to do with revenue and human services). What a difference a legislative body makes! While the Assembly was argumentative and down right rude, the entire Senate Committee was respectful and conscientious. They listened. They asked great questions - none of the hypotheticals that filled the Assembly chamber, but rather intelligent, well-thought out questions.

A representative from the Governor's office was there, watching the hearing. At the conclusion, we were told the Governor will sign the bill without hesitation. A woman from the bar association met with us after the hearing and again stressed how this is a great bill for Wisconsin!

Senator Terry Moulton, who picked up the bill in the Senate and authored it there, impressed me greatly. He had obviously done his homework and answered questions about Safe Families and what they are doing in other states. Then, during a heart-felt testimony by a birth mom who's daughter is currently in a Safe Family, this Senator removed his glasses and wiped away tears that were flowing freely. Late that week, he sent a note to his constituents that expressed how strongly he feels about the Safe Families Bill.

Press conferences are being scheduled. And I was told to start planning the signing ceremony!

I am having a hard time believing this chapter of the work is almost over! And I have to just point everyone to the power of prayer and how God works! If we would have tried to get this bill through even one year ago...it would have died in committee. And who knows how our legislation will change a year from now (several recall elections)? But for such a time as this, Safe Families was able to get a law written and passed through the legislation that will allow churches to minister to families in need!

So, here is a glimpse of all the advice I have been given by the "experts":
  • Put it in the Budget Repair Bill - it will pass easily and you'll be up and running!
  • Don't get your hopes up until next year - then try to get it through
  • A freshman Assemblyman will not be able to get this through - you need veterans taking this up
  • You can't get this through without a Senator
  • With all the fighting in the legislation, they won't take up this good-news-piece.
  • It won't pass the Assembly until the fall
  • It won't pass the Senate until the fall
  • OK - it passed the Assembly, the Senate won't take it up until the fall
  • OK - the Senate took it up, but it won't get the floor because the Senate only deals with fiscal legislation in June.
  • OK - looks like the Senate is making as exception...
If I would have believed the experts at any point along the way, I would have given up long ago! But, instead I would hear God saying, "Keep fighting! I am in this with you!" So, I bugged all my friends and begged everyone I knew to make phone calls and send emails. The legislators started asking, "What's this thing called Safe Families?" And soon, we will be LEGAL!

Praise God!

But, I know this is just the beginning of the battleground in Wisconsin. We are about to meet face-on with the one who holds Milwaukee in a stronghold of evil and darkness. We are about to punch a hole of light into the dark. Milwaukee is in such horrible states - I write about it often. They have an infant mortality rate equal to or worse than several 3rd world countries! The average 17 year old girl has a baby with a man over the age of 22 - statutory rape. More people live in poverty in Milwaukee than 99% of all major cities in the US. Dads are absent. Moms are tired, disengaged and depressed. There is no family in Milwaukee. There is no hope...YET!

Safe Families, with the Lord's mighty arm, will begin to show Milwaukee what it means to be a family. We have generations of brokenness to combat...but we are going to start somewhere.

1 comment:

Bear Creek Mama said...

Praising God for your Hands & Feet.
It is a Great work you do.