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Fed Budget Fight Hits Home in WV

June 6, 2007

Head Start, children's health care, and more are at stake for West Virginia in a federal budget stand-off, and community groups are calling today for Congress to stand firm against a threatened presidential veto. Sam Hickman with the National Association of Social Workers in West Virginia says the state's working families would be hit hard by a veto.

"What's at stake here are programs that people care about and agree with. Most Americans agree that people shouldn't go to bed hungry, especially children. Children should have reliable and safe child care and health coverage."

A veto would cost the state's Head Start program an estimated $3 million next year. Karen Williams is director of Kanawha County Head Start; she says that would mean a lot of missed opportunities, as fewer kids would get the help they need to do well in school and beyond.

"When you invest in children in the pre-schools, the families that come through Head Start break through that cycle of poverty, and may go on and get a better education."

The White House says a veto may be needed to keep spending in line; Hickman says the Congressional proposal would help low-income Americans who have been left behind in recent federal budgets.

Rob Ferrett/Craig Eicher, Public News Service - WV