Letter: Don't vote against our children

I am urging folks to vote No on Prop. 302. The state wants to gut the funds of First Things First which was created with the 80-cent tax on cigarettes. FTF uses money to support programs for early childhood development and health. The years 0-5 are optimal times for child development, and getting children off to a good start benefits all of society. FTF has been fiscally responsible in creating savings to help it sustain funds as more people quit smoking. The state is upset because FTF has these funds in reserve.

FTF offered the state of Arizona a multi-million dollar loan to help with the deficit. The Legislature refused. They want it all. This Legislature has already proven that it does not handle money well. They are going after funds that voters approved because voters understand how important early childhood development is. However, once again, the state of Arizona seeks to take away from our children. Please, don't be fooled by the rhetoric spewed by the Legislature.

Vote No on Prop. 302. Here are a list of things that FTF funds in Mohave and La Paz counties:

Regional partners receiving FTF funds include: Child and Family Resources in Bullhead City and Kingman (Healthy Families); Social Services Interagency Council of Lake Havasu (Healthy Families); Smoketree Developmental Preschool in Lake Havasu (Parenting Children with Special Needs); Mohave County Department of Public Health (Child Care Health Consultation); Arizona's Children Association (Home Visiting/Family Support); Learning Center for Families in Littlefield/Colorado City (Home Visiting/Family Support); Association for Supportive Child Care (Child Care Expansion, Community-Based Training, T.E.A.C.H.); Milemarkers Therapy in Lake Havasu City (Preventive Health Outreach and Screening); and River Cities Community Clinic in Bullhead City (Preventive Health Outreach and Screening).

Also receiving FTF funds are: Mohave County Superior Court (Infant and Toddler Mental Health Court Team); Littlefield Unified School District (Pre-Kindergarten Expansion); Topock Elementary School District (Pre-Kindergarten Expansion); E.Q. Scholars Inc., in Quartzsite (Pre-Kindergarten Expansion); Mohave Valley Elementary School (Pre-Kindergarten Expansion); Fort Mojave Indian Tribe (Home Visiting/Family Support); Kingman High School Little School Child Development Center (Quality First); Kiddie Korral Hilltop Preschool in Kingman (Quality First); New Day Schools in Lake Havasu (Quality First); The Gingerbread House in Kingman (Quality First); Wenden Elementary School in Wenden (Quality First); Nikki Knees Child Care in Kingman (Quality First); Little Scholars Preschool in Quartzsite (Quality First); Sonlight Center in Bullhead (Quality First); Bottles to Buses in Kingman (Quality First); Little Lambs Preschool in Lake Havasu (Quality First); Little Digits in Bullhead City (Quality First); and Fort Mojave Child Care Center (Quality First).

If the state is successful at gutting FTF funds, these programs are in serious jeopardy! Again, Vote No on Prop. 302! Vote for our children, not against them!

Lynn Crane

Kingman