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Arizona Budget Cuts Continue to Draw Protest


Thursday, June 11, 2015   

PHOENIX – Funding cuts to education, child care and other programs resulting from this year's legislative session continue to draw protests from around Arizona.

Several nonprofit organizations held a press conference in Phoenix on Wednesday to show hundreds of postcards from Arizonans being sent to Governor Doug Ducey.

Liane Hernandez, director of community life with the YWCA of Southern Arizona, says the message is centered on asking Ducey to make education and programs that help working families more of a priority.

"A lot of families living in Tucson are existing in a poverty situation led by women who struggle to find child care in order to go to school, in order to find a job, and then the resources to maintain the family while that process is happening," she says.

Hernandez says millions of dollars of cuts to child care programs and other services will make it more difficult for parents, especially single parents, to continue to work and advance their education.

State lawmakers have said budget cuts are necessary to close a $1 billion deficit.

Ruth Ellen Elinski, executive director of the Coconino Coalition for Children and Youth, says studies show providing services for children and families now pays off later.

"Investing in these programs would save lots of money down the road as far as incarceration, crime rates, further therapy and counseling services," she says. "All those things that these kids would need as they become adults."

Elinski is hopeful that the postcards will help Governor Ducey understand Arizonans from all walks of life want to see more funding for education and programs that help families.

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