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Louisiana State Voters Give Higher Priority to Investments in Children Than to a Large Tax Cut

For more information, contact
Joyce Johnson
Phone: 804/492-4519
Cell: 703/980-7641

May 10, 2001, Baton Rouge, LA --
Most of Louisiana's voters- 76.7%- would be willing to support a smaller tax cut by Congress to fund programs that reduce child abuse and neglect, according to a public opinion poll released today by the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA). The survey, conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling and Research, found that residents of the Pelican State would be willing to accept a reduction in the size of a tax cut if it meant the needs of Louisiana's most vulnerable children, youth, and families would be better served.

The poll sampled voter attitudes toward funding levels for various children's services in the state, such as child protection, Head Start, and afterschool programs, in relation to proposed tax cuts now before Congress. Regardless of their age group or party affiliation, the state's voters favored investing in programs to help children and families. If it meant more funding to help schools better educate disadvantaged students 74.1% of voters said they would support a smaller tax cut.

"This poll confirms our belief that most people would prefer helping distressed children and families to taking the largest tax cut possible. It's about investments in all of our futures. Once again, the public is way ahead of many politicians," commented CWLA Deputy Director Michael Petit. "Seventy-six percent of those responding believed that government has a role in preventing and treating child abuse and neglect."

Petit was joined by Amy Dawson, Deputy Director of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, a national, anticrime organization. Dawson said, "Louisiana's US Senators John Breaux and Mary Landrieu may hold the balance of power when it comes to deciding how much Congress will spend on children next year and for many years thereafter. Last month, Breaux and Landrieu voted to restrain the size of the tax cut so America could invest in helping its kids get the right start in life. Law enforcement and crime victims know every American has a stake in asking Congress to put kids first."

The more than 1,000 police chiefs, sheriffs, prosecutors, and victims of violence who make up Fight Crime: Invest in Kids believe America can reduce crime and violence by helping kids so they never become criminals.

Other participants included Beth Lundy, Sheriff of Calcasieu Parish, and several of CWLA's Louisiana-based member agencies.

The polling took place between April 27 and May 1 and involved more than 600 registered voters throughout Louisiana. The poll is accurate to 4 percentage points for the entire sample.

Established in 1920, the Child Welfare League of America is the nation's oldest and largest membership-based child welfare organization. Headquartered in Washington, DC, CWLA strives to advance sound public policy on behalf of the more than three million abused, neglected, and vulnerable children served by its more than 1,150 public and private member agencies. To further its mission of preserving, protecting, and promoting the well-being of all children and families, CWLA conducts research, develops standards of best practice, hosts regional and national conferences, provides comprehensive, field-based consultation and professional development services, and is the largest publisher of child welfare materials in North America.

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