Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer proposed a $9.2 billion budget for fiscal 2014, with millions going toward funding a new state agency she created after it was revealed in November that more than 6,500 cases of child abuse and neglect had gone unreported.
Brewer's proposed budget is more than last year's $8.8 billion budget and includes additional money for child welfare and K-12 education funding reform.
But the new state agency she created to takeover for Child Protective Services is intended to encourage more oversight and accountability for child abuse and neglect cases.
The death knell for CPS was the revelation that four years of calls into the state hotline were essentially ignored.
Brewer's budget staff released the following highlights:
$25 million for a new CPS transition fund to be used to separate CPS from the Department of Economic Security.
$5.7 million in fiscal year 2014 and $21.5 million for fiscal year 2015 to expand the force of CPS caseworkers and support staff and alleviate a 10,000-case backlog.
$8.6 million to increase the Office of Child Welfare Investigations investigation rate to 100 percent in Maricopa and Pima counties.
$10 million to begin replacement of CHILDS case tracking system.
$5.2 million for 40 Adult Protective Services investigators and 24 support staff.
$1.8 million for State Forester wildland firefighter training, dispatch center staffing, hazardous vegetation removal, fire engine replacement, landowner training and increased costs of the agency's satellite office.
Brewer's other big budget items include a new education funding plan that rewards schools for improved test scores and a plan to cut electricity taxes for manufacturers.
The upcoming budget year starts July 1.
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