STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Senators Linda Lopez D-29 and David Lujan D-15 released the following statement in response to Republican Senator Don Shooter's decision, as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, to not allow public input in today's committee hearing on how taxpayer dollars are spent by two of the state's largest agencies: Department of Economic Security and Department of Health Services. The over-burdened and under-staffed Child Protective Services is overseen by DES.
Reacting to the Democratic senators’ complaints, Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Senator Ron Gould replied, “That’s how we do it here. Welcome to the Senate.”
Senator Linda Lopez:
"Republicans find it easier to make cuts if they don't have to listen to the public about the impacts and if they don't have to see actual victims of their cuts," said Senator Lopez. "It's easier when they can dehumanize vulnerable citizens - they're just numbers that way. For us to not hear from them is just unconscionable."
Senator David Lujan:
"With all the tragedies we've seen in the news lately involving vulnerable Arizona kids, it's heartless that Republicans prefer to only hear from DES Director Carter and not any of the families who have lost children to the system," said Senator Lujan. "Now is the time to scrutinize how CPS is run to ensure our kids are safe, not stick fingers in our ears so we can get home for dinner."