Senate President’s Budget – How it Impacts KidsMarch 19, 2014
The State Senate is voting this week on a state budget proposal. With the leadership of Senate President Biggs, they voted to suspend Senate rules to allow for the introduction of the budget bills. At this point the Senate Republican version of the budget leaves some glaring gaps for children:
- NO additional 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.
- No additional funding to pay for family foster homes or emergency and residential placements for the expected number of children in foster care.
- Only $5 million to replace the CHILDS computer data system for CPS rather than the $ 15 million over a three year period which is needed.
- NO new funding for child care subsidies to prevent situations of child neglect for working parents earning low incomes.
- NO funding for the new student assessment that will replace the AIMS test.
Please email your state senator today to ask him or her to vote NO on a budget that leaves children behind. Although it is expected that this budget proposal has enough Republican votes to pass the Senate, it is important that lawmakers hear from you about priorities for children as they enter into budget negotiations between the Senate, the House, and Governor Brewer.