by Jim Nintzel
The Children's Action Alliance responds to the GOP budget plan:
This budget calls for deep cuts that will devastate children and families and damage Arizona's future recovery. Many alternatives have been put on the table that would allow the state to responsibly continue KidsCare health coverage for 47,000 children, child care assistance for hardworking parents, domestic violence shelters, and rehabilitation for troubled youth. This plan puts Arizona behind all other states for jobs. We urge state lawmakers not to put their name on a budget that shuts the door on children and economic growth.
The budget bills voted on in Committee yesterday endanger children and families in numerous ways:
Eliminating KidsCare, resulting in 47,000 children losing their health care coverage. With the elimination of KidsCare, Arizona would be the only state in the nation without this health coverage and Arizona will be turning away the federal funds that come with this.
Eliminating the Department of Juvenile Corrections. This would shift responsibility to the counties without planning or resources for treatment and rehabilitation. Locking up youth without needed services is the surest way to turn troubled youth into repeat criminals.
Slapping Arizona voters in the face by cutting more than 300,000 adults and 12,000 children off health care coverge despite our ballot vote several years ago.
Exposing 17,000 poor children to more hunger and risk by eliminating cash assistance for their families.
Damaging jobs and children’s education and security by keeping the door shut on child care assistance for low-income working parents.
Asking voters to move Arizona backwards by repealing First Things First and eliminating all state investments in health, education, and security for young children.