/ Modified may 30, 2014 9:18 a.m.

UPDATE: Brewer Signs Child Welfare Overhaul Bills

Legislature finalized approval earlier today; legislation creates Dept. of Child Safety, gives it about $827M in funding.

Brewer sigs CPS overhaul spot Gov. Jan Brewer signs Thursday two child welfare agency overhaul bills. (PHOTO: Gov. Jan Brewer's office.)

Gov. Jan Brewer has signed two child welfare agency overhaul bills.

Both chambers of the state Senate and House gave the legislation final approval earlier Thursday.

"It is a momentous day for Arizona, as we take the boldest and most meaningful step in state history to reform and replace our problem-plagued child welfare system," Brewer said in a press release from her office. "This new agency...is a critical step forward in creating a child safety system that lives up to its name and mission."

The bills create the Department of Child Safety to replace what was formerly known as Child Protective Service. Legislation also gave the agency about $824 million in funding, which includes an extra $60 million requested.

A group of bipartisan lawmakers, agency director Charles Flanagan, Brewer's chief of state and others drafted the legislation.

The bills provide a blueprint to make the agency more transparent, equip it with improved child abuse prevention tools, and other resources to tackle thousands of backlog cases.

"With this historic legislation, we begin to reverse a longstanding crisis and implement long-lasting change," Brewer said in her statement. "Through necessary resources, safeguards, checks and balances and oversight, as well as a clearly-defined core mission of child safety, there will be no room for excuses, secrets and faceless decision makers."

"There will be no more mixed messages and competing priorities. Finally, Arizona will have a child safety system with the capability and culture to protect our children," she added.

Brewer proposed to create a new, cabinet-level child welfare agency after these reports arose.

The governor called lawmakers into a special session to enact the overhaul last week.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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