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Lawmakers grill the CEO of Tik Tok over national security concerns, the House Pro-Choice Caucus aims to repeal the Helms Act and allow U.S. foreign aid to support abortion care, and attempts to ban or restrict books hit a record high as groups take aim at LBGTQ+ titles.

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Finding childcare is a struggle everywhere, prompting North Carolina's Transylvania County to try a new approach. Maine is slowly building-out broadband access, but disagreements remain over whether local versus national companies should get the contracts, and specialty apps like "Farmers Dating" help those in small communities connect online.

Criminal Justice Officials Favor Restoring Child, Family Funding

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Friday, May 9, 2014   

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Criminal justice officials are joining those who say West Virginia should restore $750,000 in cuts from programs for children and families.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin cut the funding for programs, including child advocacy, in-home family education and support for victims of domestic violence and child abuse.

His critics say the cuts will end up costing far more in court, prison, health and substance abuse spending.

U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin says prosecutors know that's true, especially for families in crisis with children.

"The social cost with a child going down a particular path are enormous,” Goodwin stresses. “An ounce of prevention is worth many, many pounds of cure – and we're seeing it, day in and day out."

The governor made about $1 million worth of cuts through line-item vetoes in March.

He said they were designed to help close a big gap in the state budget.

This week, he restored about one-quarter of the funding.

State Sen. Bill Laird served 16 years as Fayette County sheriff. He says that meant getting up at 3 a.m. to deal with a domestic violence protection order, or to make sure a child taken from a bad home situation had a safe place to stay.

In his view, he says the programs that were cut did more than deal with problems early – they stopped some from happening in the first place.

"I bring with me a lot of years walking what I refer to as the ditch line of the criminal justice system,” he says. “This is catching a problem before you have to make the initial investment to begin with."

According to Goodwin, when the state can do something for children caught in violent situations, the budget questions are only part of the issue.

"Plus, it's just the right thing to do,” he maintains. “I'm not saying that every one of these children that are exposed to violence will end up in the criminal justice system.

“But there will be an effect, and we need to do everything that we can to minimize that effect."





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