Arizona Senate and House committees have approved an emergency request from Gov. Jan Brewer to hire 50 new Child Protective Services workers.
Wednesday's unanimous votes in the appropriations committees provide $4.4 million so the overwhelmed agency can begin hiring the new workers immediately. The bills now go to the full Senate and House for consideration Thursday.
Brewer is also asking the Legislature for $67 million for 150 more CPS workers, foster care and other new child protection spending for the budget year beginning July 1.
CPS has seen a 32 percent increase in abuse reports since 2009 and the number of children in out-of-home care has increased by 40 percent. But the agency also saw staffing cuts when budgets were cut during the recession.
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