PHOENIX - Gov. Jan Brewer has signed a bill allowing the immediate hiring of 50 new Child Protective Services workers.
The state Legislature overwhelmingly approved Brewer's emergency request for $4.4 million Thursday afternoon and she signed it less than 2 hours later. She was surrounded by members of the Senate and House of Representatives from both parties in a rare example of bipartisan cooperation.
There was no opposition in either chamber.
Brewer also wants $67 million for 150 more CPS workers and for foster care and other new child protection spending during 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.
The agency saw big staffing cuts during the recession.