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The President’s Budget and Its Impact on Arizona’s Children and Families

On Monday, President Obama released his budget proposal. This year’s proposal comes amidst an ongoing struggle in Washington to define our nation’s priorities and resolve the conflict between extremely high budget deficits and significant and hurtful cuts in spending.

The blueprint offered in this budget handles this conflict by increasing revenues, creating a tax environment favorable to working families and significantly reducing federal spending as a share of GDP, outside of the Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid programs. Despite the proposed spending cuts, several programs serving children and families in need, either see their funding increase or stay the same. Below are a few highlights:

Education

  • Maintains the expansion of the Head Start and Early Head Start programs undertaken by the Recovery Act, providing $8 billion worth of funding.
  • Provides an additional $825 million to support child care subsidies for up to 1.5 million children.
  • Deepens the commitment to the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge by providing an additional $300 million to improving the quality of child care.
  • Increases the funding for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Infants and Families program by $20 million.

Child Welfare

  • Creates a new mandatory funding stream of $2.5 billion over the next 10 years that will act as an incentive to states who enact meaningful reforms to the foster care and child abuse service system.

Health

  • Continues funding for the implementation of the Affordable Care Act which will reduce the deficit by $1 trillion over the next two decades, while providing affordable and quality health care options for all families
  • $105 million initiative to fund community and faith based programs that have proven to reduce teen pregnancy rates.
  • Continue to strengthen child nutrition programs by funding the Health, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.
  • Invests $3.1 billion to create new health centers in 2013, which provide quality to health care to millions of people regardless of their ability to pay.

Taxes

  • Permanently extends the expansion of the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit
  • Increase the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit for middle income families, so more of their expenses can be used to claim those credits.

If you would like to learn what else is in the President’s proposal, click here.

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