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In state news, one Children’s Alliance advocate fights for her community as they deal with the loss of half their food assistance. The agriculture industry gives Apple Health for Kids a boost, and Asian Pacific Islander leaders support marriage equality to strengthen families. According to this week’s budget forecast, meeting our constitutional obligation to fund education won't work without new tax revenue.
Jiji Jally speaks out for local Marshallese | Northwest Asian Weekly | 08-02-2012
Jiji Jally and the Children’s Alliance worked closely together to prevent state food assistance benefits from being reduced … This year, their efforts were met with more challenges when the State Legislature voted to lower the benefits for beneficiaries of the State Food Assistance program. … Just a month following the cuts, Jally has noticed the effects of these cuts on her community.
Owners of the Pink Lady America LLC apple brand and the Health Care Authority have agreed to partner this year in promoting the Apple Health for Kids program. ... "The bottom line is reaching out to uninsured children and their families," said Health Care Authority Director Doug Porter. "Children are our future, and Washington State has a long tradition of making them and their health care one of our highest priorities."
COMMENTARY: Support the right to marry | Northwest Asian Weekly | 07-27-2012
Many Asian and Pacific Islander cultures value family. … Respecting family and upholding family means accepting the gay people in our families — even if that may make us uncomfortable. When we accept our gay and lesbian family members, and provide the dignity and recognition that they need, we preserve family unity.
The (state Supreme) court ruled earlier this year that the state isn't meeting its constitutional obligation to amply pay for basic public education. OFM projects that just meeting the court requirements would cost about $1 billion more than the state has on hand in the next two-year budget — and that amount would grow to almost $2.6 billion in the following budget cycle.
The percentage of Washington students classified as homeless in 2010-11 was up nearly 20 percent from the previous year and more than 50 percent over the five-year span, according to the report. "The impact this has on families needs to be highlighted," said Columbia's Katara Jordan. "This is an issue that affects everyone. It hurts communities."
One of the key indicators of whether a student will go on to finish college shows up before the child even starts kindergarten. That’s the conclusion of new research from Oregon State University.
A Likely Reprieve for Food Stamp Program | Stateline | 08-03-2012
Safety net advocates are looking to turn Congress’ delay to their advantage, making a public case that deep food stamp cuts would pose new problems for the nation’s nutrition and health. In May, the latest month for which data is available, more than 46 million people were enrolled in SNAP, up from 28 million just four years ago. “There will continue to be pressures to cut the programs,” says Sophie Milam, director of nutrition assistance at Feeding America, “but the need for these programs will continue to be at these historic levels.” Beyond the safety net aspect, state lawmakers will increase the pressure for other reasons. That’s because the two versions of the farm bill don’t just cut funding, but have broader implications for states’ management of their programs.