Kids Under Threat in the Budget Negotiations – ACT NOW!March 26, 2014
Just when you thought it was safe to believe that state Representatives would stop a budget bill that’s bad for kids…
After just four days of consideration, the State Senate approved a budget proposal last week on a party line vote. Click here to see the budget chart. We expect the House of Representatives to debate and vote on this same budget proposal today and tomorrow. Like in the Senate, there will be virtually no time or opportunity for public input to shape this critical policy. Despite amendments, the Senate budget plan leaves gaping holes for Arizona children and families:
• TOO LITTLE funding to pay for family foster homes or emergency and residential placements for the expected number of children in foster care.
• NO new funding for child care subsidies to prevent situations of child neglect for working parents earning low incomes.
• TOO LITTLE funding to hire critical CPS staff, so caseloads will continue to be far too high to assure the safety, well-being and permanency of children.
• TOO LITTLE funding for staff in the Office of Child Welfare Investigations, so they will not be able to investigate all reports of child abuse and neglect involving criminal conduct.
• TOO LITTLE funding to replace the CHILDS computer data system for CPS. The state can’t afford to wait five years for a functioning data system.