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      Valley non-profits brace for state, federal budget cuts

      Robert Garcia is the executive director of the Hidalgo County Children TMs Advocacy Center, or CAC.

      He said he spends his days working hard to make sure the CAC runs smoothly.

      This means spending most of his time crunching numbers and looking for grants the CAC can qualify for.

      But with talks of budget cuts at the state and federal levels"Garcia said securing those grants has become more urgent.

      "The grant that we submitted to the attorney general is a two-year grant, Garcia said. Two years ago we received $100,000 and this year we can only get $84,000."

      That is $18,000 less than in years before. Garcia said they are finding other grants to help supplement their budget.

      "They're putting a lot of emphasis on human trafficking cases," Garcia said.

      In the last two to three months Garcia said they have seen a 50% increase in human trafficking cases. He said, using that data and a newly formed partnership with Pharr police he hopes to be able to secure more funds.

      "We hope to supplement our additional operational budget with federal monies, Garcia said. I think that's a good thing because we'll still be servicing kids that are victims of violent crimes."

      Garcia said the CAC TMs board of directors has been preparing for these possible cuts for years. He said they already have a plan in place in case that happens.

      Until that time Garcia said the Children TMs Advocacy Center is in good shape.