With a budget totaling nearly $18 billion, Governor Hobbs couldn’t find a tiny fraction for homeless pregnant women and their babies. For the past six years, the Arizona Legislature has set aside a little money to help expectant mothers on the street find a home, stability, and make a fresh start for themselves and their babies. But not this year; Governor Hobbs wouldn’t allow it.
The annual allotment of between $100,000 to $200,000 would go to nonprofits such as Maggie’s Place, where more than 1,100 women and nearly 700 babies found refuge over the years. These women learned life skills, received substance abuse counseling, grief and peer support, budget coaching, and other assistance transitioning to permanent housing.
Although Arizona has a vested interest in these benefits, a tiny fraction of the state budget will no longer serve to help these women get off the streets of Arizona cities.
State efforts to provide assistance for alternatives to abortion also got the axe, but no taxpayer money will go to abortion providers either. I credit Senate President Warren Petersen and House Speaker Ben Toma for standing strong against any pro-abortion funding or other measures.
The popular universal Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) program did not get a cap or any restrictions, which is great news for all Arizona families who want to choose the best educational environment for their children.
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You may have heard a lot of myths about the ESA program, so I sat down with Matt Beienburg from Goldwater Institute to dispel each one. Spoiler alert: It is not going to bankrupt the state. It actually saves the state money! Matt spells it out quite clearly in our latest Engage Arizona podcast. Listen here.