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Updated Jan 31, 2013 - 4:48 pm

Brewer signs bill to fund 50 new CPS workers

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, surrounded by lawmakers, signs a bill to fund the hiring of 50 new Child Protective Services workers. (Bob McClay/KTAR)

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.

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