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Report: ID Ranks Near-Last in Protecting Children

February 27, 2008

Boise, ID – Idaho doesn’t get any kid-friendly bragging rights today from a new report by the Children's Defense Fund Action Council. According to the new annual "Non-Partisan Congressional Scorecard", Idaho's Congressional delegation ranks third-to-last among the 50 states when it comes to voting on issues that affect children, such as improving toy safety, expanding health care, and boosting the minimum wage.

It's a dark spot on an otherwise bright report, according to Ed Shelleby with the CDF Action Council. He says, overall, Congress did some really good things to improve kids' lives.

"They passed the first minimum wage increase in a decade, they made improvements to Head Start to prepare children for school, they gave additional funds for students so that more children could go to college."

Hawaii was ranked first in the report. Critics say the rankings don't take into account taxpayer costs and other impacts of the specific votes on children's issues.

Shelleby says while his group tries to focus on the moral thing to do when it comes to kids, there's also a financial pay-off to be considered in making sure kids become productive adults.

"Prevention and intervention and investing early on in children will save us exponentially more down the road."

The full report is at www.cdfactioncouncil.org.

Deborah Smith/Craig Eicher, Public News Service - ID