State of the State
This week, the Arizona legislature begins its work for the year at a time when many Arizona children and families are struggling to meet their basic needs during this health and economic crisis. Recently released data by the U.S. Census Bureau shows 1 in 6 Arizona households with children (16%) said they had only slight confidence or no confidence at all that they would be able to make their next rent or mortgage payment on time. Increasing numbers of Arizona households with children are also reporting they do not have health insurance and/or do not have enough food to eat, and communities of color are disproportionately suffering.
That is why it will be so critical for lawmakers to focus their work on helping families achieve financial stability, and keeping children healthy and safe during these difficult times.
Our 2021 legislative priorities include:
- Making health care more accessible for Arizona’s children by expanding eligibility for KidsCare, Arizona’s Children’s Health Insurance Program;
- Restoring supports to grandparents and other kinship caregivers who step in and prevent children from entering foster care when parents are unable to care for their children;
- Provide safe, quality child care options for working parents of young children by increasing the child care subsidy reimbursement rates;
- Providing Arizona’s public schools with the same amount of funding for conducting virtual schools during the pandemic as they receive for in-person instruction.
What Arizona does not need is more tax cuts which will only reduce state revenues that struggling Arizona families are counting on to provide housing and food supports, and make child care more affordable. Rather than shortsighted tax cuts, we urge Governor Ducey and lawmakers to take a more responsible approach and prioritize a plan to stop the uncontrolled spread of COVID-19, and put Arizona on a path to recovery from this health and economic crisis.