Children’s Action Alliance has recently released an article providing new information of the ongoing CPS budget. CAA notes, The House and Senate approved a budget last night that provides funding for 50 more CPS case workers and 20 more investigators in the Office of Child Welfare Investigations. The CPS staff is lower than what Governor Brewer asked for in her budget. This budget does not have a single penny to prevent child abuse and neglect so fewer families ever need CPS.
House Speaker Andy Tobin indicated he expects the legislature to have a special session regarding the Division for Child Safety and Family Services. According to The Arizona Republic, Brewer Chief of Staff Scott Smith said that the Governor would be calling for more money for child welfare, noting “(y)ou’ve got to look at the backlog, prevention, and treatment and child care subsidies”. Legislators officially pledged to revisit the budget needs of CSFS in language included in the FY 15 budget
Additionally, last week, the Arizona Legislature approved Gov. Jan Brewers $9.2 billion budget for the new Child Safety and Family Services (CSFS) agency. Roughly $4 million dollars was cut through the use of the Governors line-item veto. Governor Brewer vetoed all the funding for the legislature’s ombudsman-citizens aide office, including $200,000 in new funding intended to add two additional staff to that office to handle questions and complaints about CPS cases. Her veto message stated that “it is premature to appropriate additional [CPS] resources when the case load impact has not yet been determined and overall resources for the new agency are still being analyzed.”