White House domestic spending request would fund opioid programs, child care industry
The Biden administration is calling on Congress to approve $56 billion in emergency funding for domestic priorities including programs to combat the opioid epidemic and investments to support child care providers.
The spending request proposes $1.5 billion to respond to increasing opioid overdoses nationwide. U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said that plan would set aside $28 million for Arizona.
“Once it’s passed, the president signs. Because it would be an emergency funding bill, it would take effect virtually immediately and we could start to then deploy those resources into Arizona and other states," Becerra told KJZZ news.
Opioid overdoses caused nearly 2,000 deaths in Arizona last year, according to the state health department. Grants would cover programs to fight fentanyl trafficking and to expand addiction services.
Becerra said the White House's supplemental funding request also warns of instability in the child care industry.
Nearly 3,000 child care centers across Arizona received grants from the American Rescue Plan Act during the pandemic. Becerra said that funding is now running out.
“Some of them used it to increase wages to keep workers from leaving, others used it to expand the number of slots they can provide. What we know is most of that money has now been used and a lot of these child care centers are trying to figure out how they’re going to make it work now,” Becerra said.
The Biden administration's plan includes $16 billion to continue to stabilize child care costs nationwide. Of that, Becerra said $382 million would go to Arizona.