In Washington state, deep food stamp cuts leave one Marshallese family in Spokane with a daily food budget of $1.20 per person, per meal. A new report finds that federal spending for children’s programs has declined for the first time in three decades, the labor movement supports same-sex marriage to support strong families, and an initiative to lock a two-thirds majority vote in the State Legislature will leave kids in the dust. In national news, a former U.S. surgeon general says the oral health crisis calls for a new licensed dental practitioner to expand the reach of quality care.
Hemika Borran, who came to the U.S. from the Marshall Islands in 2010, said her benefit level was cut from $526 to $326 for a family of three. That means in a 30-day month, the family can spend about $1.20 per person, per meal, each day. “We have to be careful what we buy,” Borran said. “It is not really much.” Borran said the cuts make her sad because she struggles to provide for her 4-year-old son as she searches for a job and as her husband prepares to go to school to improve his English language skills.
Research keeps showing that early education matters, but a new report found that the federal government spent less on children in fiscal 2011 than the year before, the first decline in roughly three decades. … It is a way to gain a sense of where spending on children’s programs, such as Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or what was Food Stamps), and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families rank among the federal government’s priorities, and it’s not too high. When tax and program spending is included, “expenditures on children have fallen by 23 percent since 1960, from 20 to 15 percent of the domestic budget,” the report said.
Marriage gives loving couples the ability to create strong families. Committed same-sex couples want the freedom to stand in front of family and friends and make a lifelong promise of love and commitment to each other. Our government should not stand in the way of their freedom to marry.
The requirement, which has been on the books in various forms since 1993, bars policymakers from raising taxes without a two-thirds vote of the legislature or a vote of the people. Initiative 1185 would lock the requirement into place for at least another two years. Throughout the course of the Great Recession, a small number of ideologically extreme lawmakers have used this onerous law to block legislation needed to maintain investments essential to a strong state economy. The impact on Washingtonians has been devastating.
Investing an additional $3,000 in children living in low-income working households translates into increased work hours in their own adulthood and a 17 percent boost in their annual earnings. Washington state could magnify these benefits by fully funding the Working Families Tax Rebate. It would boost the take-home pay of over 400,000 Washington households by up to $589 a year. And the impact on kids would be huge: 97 percent of the families helped have children.
Speaking at a conference July 16-17 on unmet oral health needs sponsored by the Morehouse School of Medicine and the Sullivan Alliance, Dr. Satcher issued a renewed call for action to expand access to oral health care, particularly in light of the millions of children expected to gain dental benefits through the Affordable Care Act in 2014. … According to Dr. Satcher, states must pursue all avenues to expand access to dental care, including exploring the creation of new dental providers, and building a cadre of ethnically diverse, culturally competent dental practitioners, as well as expanding the reach of the dental team with other health care professionals.
State exchanges represent a distinctly American opportunity to improve our local communities and at the same time help our nation avert a major crisis. Let's take the plunge.
According to a report by Policy Link and the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity at USC, we’ve basically got old people who are 80 percent white, and young people who are at least 50 percent of color. … We can’t forget that the new demographic deserves a good life and just nation for their own sakes. Nor can we forget the dreams and anxieties of the fading majority. The strategic challenge is in bringing the two together.
The House Agriculture Committee has approved an unconscionable farm bill that protects grossly generous subsidies for the agriculture industry by cutting food stamps by a staggering $16.5 billion over the next decade. The cuts — more than triple the $4.5 billion approved in the Senate — would deny two million to three million people food assistance of $90 a month per family, end free school meals for 280,000 children and compound recession hardships for the working poor.