Tuesday, May 26, 2015

This was a choice

This was a choice

The Republican leaders in Arizona continue to blame their decision to gut support for the state’s neediest families on an impending budget deficit. The truth is they could have made other choices in the budget instead of swiping money from single mothers and their children.

The Republicans decided to cap the time that families can receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) support at 12 months during the middle-of-the-night budget debate. Most states offer support for up to five years.  

This will force the Department of Economic Security to drop more than 2,700 children from Arizona’s federally funded assistance program. This move is expected to keep between $4 million and $9 million in state coffers, which is nothing compared to the more than $100 million in special interest tax cuts scheduled to take effect in fiscal year 2016 – including the continued drop in the corporate income tax rate.

TANF provides cash assistance for the most poverty-stricken families. The average benefit people, including children, receive is less than $92 per month. The money is often used to put food on the table. The Republicans have sent a clear message about their priorities.

Based on their other budget decisions, it seems they would rather support tax cuts for insurance companies and big corporations than help our state’s poorest single mothers and children make ends meet. This attack on the poor was not necessary. This was a choice.

To find ways to get involved, have your voice heard and tell your representatives what your priorities are, click here and be heard.

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