Trump Budget Cuts: Impacts on Arizona Families and Environment
PHOENIX – What would happen to Arizona if President Trump gets his way on budget cuts? A trillion dollars in new infrastructure spending could bring relief and create jobs. Arizona is also home to military bases that could benefit from additional defense spending. However, the billions more for defense will come from spending cuts to domestic programs.
Advocates for children are concerned about the future of well-known programs like Head Start, and others that have proven effective in assisting new parents and preventing child abuse.
Suzanne Schrunk with the Arizona Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers says the cuts may appear small, but they affect lots of Arizonans.
"You know we're concerned about any kind of cuts," she said. "We can't afford, especially in this state, to have more abuse and neglect and more children removed."
Schrunk says these programs save money in the long run by helping kids become better prepared for school, making it easier for them to find good jobs as taxpaying adults.
The White House says cuts will begin with the Environmental Protection Agency, which troubles Sandy Bahr of the Sierra Club's Grand Canyon Chapter. She says Arizona follows EPA standards on clean water and clean air. A weaker EPA, she says, could lead to worsening air quality in the state.
"It's not just that the air quality is poor on one day, but it's over time," she explained. "The most vulnerable will be the first to notice."
Bahr says Arizona's National Parks might suffer too. Less money for upkeep and staff would lead to deteriorating campgrounds, picnic areas and trails for residents as well as tourists, who spend $21 billion per year in the state.