The Governor’s Office has asked Arizona state agencies to submit a budget with 15% further cuts for the next fiscal year to help the State balance the budget. They are all posted on the web, so I took a look at the cuts proposed by AHCCCS, after the DPS went to the media with a story on what would happen if it lost 15% of the Highway Patrol Budget (no patrol in outlying areas, longer response times).
And I found that the next thing to be eliminated from AHCCCS is…health care for children.
The KidsCare program would be eliminated, leaving 18% of the state’s children without health insurance and boosting Arizona from 5th place to 3rd place in numbers of uninsured kids.
Before you freak out, remember that there are two ways of closing the budget gap. One is to make 15% overall cuts in state programs, but the other is to find new sources of revenue. Gov. Brewer had proposed a temporary 1% sales tax, but the legislature didn’t support it.