Arizona House Debates On State Budget

March 24, 2014

(Photo courtesy of the Arizona State Legislature)
Rep. Lela Alston said there needs to be more funding in the budget for CPS.

The Arizona House began debate on its version of the state budget Monday morning. The state Senate last week passed a $9.2 billion spending plan for the fiscal year starting July 1. House Appropriations Committee Chairman John Kavanagh said it is an austere budget that will be considered by House members.

“We have some money for education,” Kavanagh said. “We have significant funds to help direct child protective services. We also deal with the wildfire issue, higher education and of course we’re finally bringing back significant road construction money.”

Democratic Rep. Lela Alston said the Child Protective Services money in the bill is considerably less than the state should be spending.

“It’s not enough just to create a new agency and put a new name on it, when we’re not putting the resources behind making the system work for our kids,” Alston said.

She said spending for child welfare does not meet the governor’s goals for a cabinet agency. Democrats say critical issues like day care subsidies and Common Core standards have been left out of the House GOP spending plan.