Heroin addiction among parents and a poor economy are pushing more children into Missouri’s foster care system at a time when lawmakers want to cut nearly $13.6 million from the state foster care budget and eliminate dozens of child protection jobs.
And those aren’t the only cuts proposed for children in the Missouri Legislature’s scramble to plug budget holes for next year.
A legislative committee last week proposed cutting $16 million in child-care subsidies for low-income families and an additional $13 million to encourage private day care and preschool expansion.
“We’ve got to make some very hard decisions and find the money,” said Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia and chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Schaefer and other legislative leaders said they are running out of options, especially because it appears unlikely that the Senate will pass a tax amnesty bill that could have generated up to $70 million in delinquent taxes.
Read the article if you want the grisly details about how this will likely ruin lives in Missouri. Also check out Benjamin J. Dueholm’s piece on just how difficult the government already makes it to be a foster parent from the November/ December Monthly.
Oh, and here’s the “best” graf from the Post-Dispatch article:
While some critics say the latest cuts have unfairly targeted children, Schaefer said all parts of government have to bear the burden. The House, for example, has proposed $30 million in cuts to programs for the blind, though some of those were restored last week in Senate action. The children’s cuts, meanwhile, grew larger as the week progressed.
Everyone’s chipping in!