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State Sen. Ron Ramsey has once again shown his indifference to the needs of ordinary Tennesseans by backing a Republican budget that would eliminate funding for an agency meant to save the lives of babies.
Tennessee’s infant death rate is the 47th worst in the country. The Governor’s Office of Child Care Coordination was established in 2004 by Gov. Phil Bredesen to coordinate a wide range of services to children, including programs to reduce infant mortality rates across the state.
“It’s ironic a gubernatorial candidate who claims to be pro life would callously slash programs meant to save the lives of our babies,” Tennessee Democratic Party Chairman Chip Forrester said. “Mr. Ramsey’s boot evidently knows no boundaries.”
According to news reports, the Office of Child Care Coordination spends about $5 million annually, of which a little more than $2 million is state money.
Ramsey and other Republican candidates across the state have been railing against federal assistance. And Ramsey’s campaign has been airing television advertisements promising to give Washington “the boot.”
“It would make better sense to me if Tennessee voters would give Ramsey the boot,” Forrester said
Health experts attribute increased infant mortality rates to lack of prenatal care, premature births, low birth weights, tobacco use among pregnant woman and Sudden Infant Death syndrome.
“We have made progress reducing the infant mortality rate here in Tennessee since Gov. Bredesen started the Office of Child Care Coordination,” Forrester said. “Why in the world would you want to eliminate programs meant to save a baby’s life?
“Senate Republicans and Mr. Ramsey are misplacing their priorities here. They need to quit playing these silly political games and focus on ways to improve the lives of Tennesseans,” he added.
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