State budget impact on children

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Governor Hobbs recently passed and signed the budget, there were some small but key wins for Arizona children and families including: KidsCare Program Expansion, Strong Families AZ Home Visiting System, Reducing financial barriers for youth attempting to exit the Juvenile Justice System, Positive Parenting Program Pilot and Emergency Shelter and Transitional Living.

Kelley Murphy, Interim President and CEO of Children’s Active Alliance, discusses more about how these programs will be implemented.

“We’ve expanded eligibility for KidsCare, which is the state’s children’s health insurance program. Families up to 225% of the federal poverty limit can qualify for that program. Now it should serve about 12,000 more kids we think. We’d really like to see it get up to 300% of the federal poverty level, but this was a good baby step in that direction for us,” Murphy said.

The governor has indicated that she supports a lot of the same beliefs that the Children’s Active Alliance holds, which is great, according to Murphy.

“We are a bipartisan organization, and so we work on both sides of the aisle. When we have bills we like to see, we work with whoever is willing to come along with us. We had pretty good movement on a lot of bills, and of course the session is not over yet. We have some bills that aren’t maybe tied to money or funding that may still yet make it the rest of the way through the process,” Murphy said.

Looking forward to the rest of the session, Murphy explained it would be nice to see some administrative changes that are helpful for children and families.

Holistically, it would have been great to see more funding in areas like K-12 education, early childhood and the child welfare system, as well as those areas prioritized in the budget, Murphy said.

Kelley Murphy, Interim President and CEO of Children's Active Alliance

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