81st Annual Meeting: June 21-24, 2013 in Las Vegas

IN SUPPORT OF PRESCHOOL FOR ALL FOUR YEAR OLDS IN LOW AND MODERATE INCOME FAMILIES; IN SUPPORT OF EXPANDED CARE FOR INFANTS AND TODDLERS THROUGH EARLY HEAD START AND CHILD CARE PROGRAMS; IN SUPPORT OF ADDITIONAL MANDATORY FUNDING TO EXTEND AND EXPAND CURRENT FEDERAL INVESTMENTS IN HOME VISITATION PROGRAM; ALL OF WHICH ARE PAID FOR AN INCREASE IN TOBACCO EXCISE TAXES

WHEREAS, fewer than three in ten 4-year olds are enrolled in high quality early childhood education programs today; and

WHEREAS, the United States devotes less public spending to early learning as a percentage of GDP than 24 countries; and

WHEREAS, children from low-income families start kindergarten 12 to 14 months behind their peers in language development and pre-reading; and

WHEREAS, research has shown that the early years in a child’s life is critical to brain development and early education programs build critical academic, social and cognitive skills which are necessary for physical, emotional and social development; and

WHEREAS, high-quality preschool has been proven to reduce placements in special education, reduce grade retention, boost graduation rates, decrease teen pregnancy rates, and increase the odds of holding a job over the long term; and

WHEREAS, the home visitation program provides at home visits for up to 570,000 families each year; and

WHEREAS, the home visitation program has been proven to reduce problems such as emergency room hospitalizations, intensive care for victims of trauma, child welfare investigations, violent crime and juvenile delinquency; and

WHEREAS, the home visitation program helps families with appropriate prenatal care, improve family diet, and reduces use of tobacco, alcohol, and illegal substances; and

WHEREAS, the Administration proposes increasing the federal excise tax on cigarettes from $1.01 per pack to $1.95 per pack and that increase would be indexed for inflation after 2014; and

WHEREAS, the effect of cigarette taxes on smoking has been studied extensively; and increasing real price of cigarettes by 10% reduces the number of young adult smokers by 3.5 percent and reduces the number of kids who smoke by 7 percent; and

WHEREAS, smoking costs the United States $96 billion in medical costs and $97 billion in lost productivity each; and

WHEREAS, cigarette smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke kill an estimated 443,000 people in the United States each year; and

WHEREAS, approximately 8.6 million people in the United States have chronic illnesses related to smoking; and

WHEREAS, the Administration proposes to create a continuum of high-quality early learning services for children beginning at birth and though age five by providing early childhood education for all four year olds in low and moderate income families, for expanded care for infants and toddlers through Early Head Start and Child Care programs and additional mandatory funding to extend and expand current federal investments in home visitation programs funded by an increase in the tobacco excise tax,

Now, therefore, be it resolved that The U.S. Conference of Mayors fully supports providing early childhood education for all four year olds in low and moderate income families; the expanded child care of infants and toddlers through Early Head Start and Child Care programs; and additional mandatory funding to extend and expand current federal investments in home visitation program; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that The U.S. Conference of Mayors strongly urges Congress to pass legislation in which revenues generated by a tax increase in the per-pack price of cigarettes be used specifically for the following activities:

  • chronic disease prevention and control;

  • medical research, particularly research related to the addictive and other effects of tobacco on the human body;

  • child health programs, early childhood education and home visitation program; and

  • with priority funding of early childhood education and home visitation programs.


RESOLUTION ADOPTED JUNE 2013