State budget cuts could affect future of drug abuse coalition

Navajo County Coalition Against Drug Abuse may fall victim to state budget cuts currently under consideration in the Arizona Legislature. Senate Bill 1300 and House Bill 2857, currently in the Appropriations Committee, reduce state General Fund operating expenses, transfer monies from various other funds to the state General Fund and delay appropriations in order to reconcile an anticipated FY 2007-2008 state General Fund shortfall.

Among these millions of dollars of actions is $2 million in funding to the Parents Commission, which funds the state's 22 methamphetamine coalitions, including those in Coconino County, Navajo County, the Navajo Nation and Hopi.

These coalitions' current state funding phase ends March 31. Previous Phase I and Phase II funding was for $20,000 and $30,000, respectively, which funded the establishment of these coalitions and programs do date. An unspecified amount of Phase III funding was anticipated April 1. It seems just when the coalitions have some momentum rolling, they will be forced to reduce or eliminate programs.

The Navajo County Coalition Against Drug Abuse continuously seeks federal and private grants to create sustainability. Even if successful, they will not see funds until the last quarter of 2008. They will be unfunded for six months - and that's if they are successful with grant applications. If unsuccessful, the Navajo County Coalition, for one, will cease to exist.

The Navajo County Coalition plans a telethon fund-raiser April 15 and is currently selling raffle tickets for an electric cart and selling "Meth Not Even Once" T-shirts to raise money. (These can be purchased on line at www.navajocountydrugproject.com). But these are not sustainable measures.

What can you do? Write, call and/or email your elected officials (see below) and encourage them not to shift Parents Commission funding away from anti-meth coalitions in the state. Governor Napolitano pledged not to balance the state budget on the backs of children and your children are at risk every day from the meth and other dangerous drugs in your community. Help fight back for them.

Arizona House of Representatives

Capitol Complex

1700 West Washington

Phoenix, AZ 85007-2890

District 1:

Lucy Mason

lmason@azleg.gov

(304) 926-5874 (602) 417-3001

Andrew M. Tobin

atobin@azleg.gov

(308) 926-5172 (602) 417-3085

District 2:

Tom Chabin

tchabin@azleg.gov

(322) 926-5160 (602) 417-3002

District 5:

Bill Konopnicki

bkonopnicki@azleg.gov

(219) 926-5409 (602) 417-3105

Jack A. Brown

Assistant Minority Leader

jbrown@azleg.gov

(316) 926-4129 (602) 417-3010

Arizona State Senate

Capitol Complex

1700 West Washington

Phoenix, AZ 85007-2890

District 1:

Tom O'Halleran

tohalleran@azleg.gov

(303) 926-5584 (602) 417-3101

District 2:

Albert Hale

ahale@azleg.gov

(313) 926-4323 (602) 417-3260

District 5:

Jake Flake

jflake@azleg.gov

(307) 926-5219 (602) 417-3224

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