In this week’s edition, Apple Health for Kids’ performance bonus is highlighted as a budget solution, the House budget released April 4 draws gratitude and criticism, and a new online tool allows anyone to track hunger in their own counties.
- Beating the Budget Crunch: Apple Health for Kids | League of Education Voters (blog) | 04-05-2011
- The Department of Social and Health Services and the Children’s Alliance estimate that future CHIPRA Performance Bonus money will add up to $80 million over the biennium to our struggling state economy – welcome news, in this challenging budget climate… The more kids we enroll [in Apple Health for Kids], the more money we get. Governor Gregoire’s 2011-13 proposed budget included only $15.8 million of the estimated $80 million the state could receive in the form of CHIPRA federal bonuses. That is an additional $64 million of flexible federal dollars for the State and an opportunity for reinvestment into Apple Health for Kids, which secures a healthy future for our children and allows them do their very best in school.
- House releases budget that is unsustainable for our future | Washington State
Budget & Policy Center (Schmudget blog) | 04-04-2011
- The House proposal does include some improvements over Governor Gregoire’s proposed budget such as maintaining the Basic Health Plan (although it restricts enrollment to those who meet Medicaid requirements), maintains the Apple Health for Kids program, retains funds for early learning, levy equalization for less affluent school districts, K-3 class size reduction for low-income schools, and increases eligibility for Family Planning assistance. However, the House makes deep cuts to services for children and young adults, people with disabilities and older adults.
- House Dems outline plan to solve $5.1B state budget shortfall | The Olympian | 04-05-2011
- If there was any surprise, it’s that the bloodletting was less than some advocates for children and health care feared. Even so, majority Democrats said their proposal actually drops the state’s per-capita spending to the levels of 1986, once adjusted for inflation. “This budget is responsible, thoughtful, and sustainable,” House Ways and Means chairman Ross Hunter, D-Medina, said in prepared remarks about the $32.4 billion two-year spending plan.
- House budget proposal cuts billions, but funds some Spokane projects |The Spokesman-Review| 04-05-2011
- At a Ways and Means Committee hearing Monday, dozens of witnesses sought to restore cuts to programs. While the latest plan is “much, much better for children” than Gregoire’s budget, Jen Estroff of the Children’s Alliance said legislators should still look at tax exemptions “that don’t provide the same benefit to the state that healthy, educated kids do.”
- The case for state spending guidelines — no matter the source | Washington State Budget & Policy Center |03-31-2011
- One good example of transparency and accountability is House Bill 2106, enacted in 2009, which requires the Children’s Administration within the Department of Social and Health Services(DSHS) to convert all existing contracts for child welfare services into performance-based contracts. Social workers are held to specific contract deliverables for payment. This law restructures the way social workers provide services, with the goal of increasing the quality of care and services for children and families. The statue seeks to implement the necessary accountability in state spending. In contrast, there are no accountability or transparency measures in place to hold recipients of the Washington FilmWorks Contributors B&O tax credit responsible to the state.
- In Our View: House Democrat’s Budget – Some serious response to crisis | The Herald (Everett) | 04-05-2011
- It attempts, as House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Ross Hunter (D-Medina) said, to avoid being penny wise and pound foolish. It preserves Apple Health, which helps 600,000 kids with health care, and family planning for thousands of low-income women, and early learning. All are investments that more than pay off down the road.
- National Public Health Week | KNDO/KNDU Radio | 04-04-2011
- Maternity child health programs are very important. That includes WIC and nutrition counseling for new mothers. The First Steps Program provides outreach, maternity care and health care to low income women, infants, and children. Maternity Support Services/Maternity Case Management are preventive health services designed to supplement medical visits. The intent of the program is to provide interventions as early in pregnancy as possible in an effort to promote positive birth and parenting outcomes. "A lot of things we do in public health is facilitate and try to be a leader. But a lot of times hands on doesn't actually occur in this building," says Dr. Larry Jecha.
- Vicki B. Escarra: People in Your County Are Going Hungry | Huffington Post | 04-01-2011
- There is a disconnect in the public perception of hunger -- between people knowing that hunger exists in America, and understanding that hunger exists in their backyard. Hunger can affect children at your son or daughter's school, your neighbor who recently lost a job or the hourly employees at your grocery store. The fact is that hunger is much closer to home than you might think. Take a look your own county on the interactive data map to see how many of your neighbors struggle to put food on the table.