Campbell: ‘We’ve still got work to do’
Legislative session ends without solution to child welfare system crisis
STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – House Minority Leader Chad Campbell, D-Phoenix (District 24), released this statement regarding the close of the regular legislative session.
“The legislative session ended today, leaving Arizona’s child safety and welfare system in crisis.
“The extremists at the Capitol chose to spend their time on policies that promoted a partisan agenda. During the time they should have been finding solutions for the troubled child welfare system, they instead focused on fast-tracking SB 1062 through the Legislature. This discriminatory legislation targeted LBGTQ communities and cities like Phoenix, Tucson and Flagstaff that have expanded civil rights protections. This is disappointing, not only because such legislation is offensive, but also because it took time and attention away from Child Protective Services reform.
“At the beginning of the year, Republicans and Democrats agreed that fixing CPS was a priority, after 6,600 reports of child abuse and neglect went uninvestigated. This happened, in part, because there are not enough caseworkers as a result of years of Republican budget cuts. House Democrats proposed a budget that included $193 million for child safety and health and human services. It would have restored preventative services, like the childcare subsidy, and it would have provided enough money to hire additional child welfare caseworkers to handle the growing caseload in the state.
“This proposal was ignored because of partisanship; and vulnerable children and families remain in danger. Today five CPS supervisors and a Department of Economic Security administrator were fired after the Department of Public Safety issued a report on its investigation of the agency. Clearly, the situation is still dire. Solving the state’s CPS troubles should have been first on the agenda, and now we have to wait for the governor to call a special session.
“House Democrats remain ready to put a stop to the partisan bickering and to find ways to end this crisis. The legislative session may have closed but we’ve still got work to do.”