First Things First – established after Arizona voters approved a ballot measure to set aside funds to help young children start kindergarten healthy and ready to succeed – faces an uncertain future. In their attempt to sweep the funds, state legislators are considering adding a new ballot initiative this November that would allow Arizona voters to repeal their initial approval and redirect the dollars into the state’s general fund.
First Things First was created in 2006, when Arizona voters – through the Proposition 203 ballot initiative – decided to set aside 80 cents from each pack of cigarettes sold in order to fund the expansion of education and health programs for children from birth through age five. To date, First Things First has invested more than $141 million on programs proven to work at improving outcomes for children.
This measure is scheduled to be voted on by the legislature immediately. To advocate on behalf of Arizona’s youngest children and First Things First contact your state legislators by e-mail or call 602.926.3559 from the Phoenix area, or toll free statewide at 1.800.352.8404.