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First Things First flush with cash — for now (access required)

When lawmakers voted in March to put the referendum on the ballot — a measure that would sweep and dismantle the Early Childhood Development and Health Board Fund — they expected it to put about $325 million into the state’s cash-starved coffers. But as of Sept. 1, the agency had about $100 million more than that on hand.

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First Things First users caught in political, economic hailstorm (access required)

The Legislature's decision to go after First Things First and its $325 million was inevitable, given the magnitude of the state's financial woes. But the agency also made political missteps that made it a target. Now the agency that is dedicated to providing health care services to children is fighting for its existence. In November, voters will be asked whether to continue the programs or dissolve it and redirect its money to the state's coffers.

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