Have a Heart for Kids Day is your day to speak up for kids. Right now, your voice matters. Join hundreds of child, youth, and family advocates from across Washington State and speak up for kids!
In this edition, the newest state Senate budget proposal inspires a Tri-City food bank director, a Spokane mother, and two senators from King County to speak up for State Food Assistance funding. A new analysis shows that kids make up 70 percent of Washingtonians receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). In national news, the Affordable Care Act will expand children’s coverage in 2014 after bringing the number of uninsured U.S. children down to its record low.
This Friday is the second anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Like Social Security and Medicare before it, important laws like the ACA inspire vigorous debate.
While there are lots of opinions about health care reform, there’s no disputing its benefits for children across the country and here at home.
In this edition, a late night Senate vote on the state budget puts child care and food assistance at risk for thousands of vulnerable families. Meanwhile, the “Go for the Gold” school breakfast campaign kicks off during National School Breakfast Week to promote better student health and performance in Seattle Public Schools, and in Spokane, a growing Marshallese community that prioritizes education is at risk of losing the anti-hunger program that supports their children’s success. One in four Washington children’s first “dental visit” is a trip to the emergency room, and in national news, it’s one in four that belong to families who struggle to pay their health care bills, even as health coverage improves for children overall.
Friday night’s takeover of the state Senate gives pundits much to ponder. Who gained at whose expense? What happens now?
But while the dust settles on a potentially deadlocked legislature, one fact is clear. The children of Washington got trampled when a group of Senators conspired to ram through the entire state education, health care, and social services budget without even a nod to public input. Kids are the new roadkill.
How quickly things change. Last year, members of the Senate’s “Roadkill Caucus” stood up for kids and successfully blocked cuts such as taking away Apple Health for Kids health coverage from 27,000 children. In fact, most members of that caucus voted against brutal cuts to kids in the budget that prevailed by the narrowest of margins.
Next week, schools across the country will be celebrating school breakfast week with new menu items, fun promotions and, most importantly, great nutrition.
Here in Washington several school districts are taking the Fuel Up First with Breakfast Challenge and have pushed their school breakfast promotions a few steps further.
Important legislation to help meet the oral health needs of kids and families took a major step forward this year in Washington.
Senate Bill 6126, legislation to improve dental access in our state, passed out of the Senate Health & Long-Term Care Committee with the support of committee Chair Sen. Karen Keiser, and lead sponsor, Sen. David Frockt, and early backing from Rep. Eileen Cody. The bill made marked strides, but did not pass the Rules Committee by the February 14th cut-off this legislative session.
The remarkable progress of this issue is the product of a diverse and growing campaign. The Washington Dental Access Campaign will continue the momentum to create a mid-level provider as a way to modernize our state’s oral health workforce and improve access to routine dental care.
Last Monday, Washington anti-hunger advocates sat down with a key Obama administration official and informed him that children and families across our state continue to feel the impact of the recession.
The federal Affordable Care Act was signed into law nearly two years ago. Since then, we at the Children’s Alliance, alongside health advocates across the state, have been working to make health care reform a reality in Washington.
In the next few weeks, health care leaders in the state House and Senate will take a crucial next step: They’ll set up ground rules for the state’s new Health Insurance Exchange.
Last week’s national poll results on food stamps should make Washington legislators take notice.
The poll found overwhelming support from voters for the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, or SNAP, known universally as food stamps.
Along with tens of thousands of Washington children benefitting from SNAP, more than 12,000 children in our state depend on a form of food stamps called State Food Assistance – one of the vital programs lawmakers may cut.
The poll, conducted in the second week of January, is a strong indication that cutting SFA would be enormously unpopular:
The State Supreme Court earlier this month based a key decision on our state’s constitutional responsibility to provide a basic education to every child residing in Washington. During this legislative session, lawmakers can pass one bill that’s key to upholding that responsibility.
The High Quality Early Learning Act would establish universally accessible early learning programs for Washington 3- and 4-year-olds, while also strengthening programs that ensure the healthy development of infants and toddlers.