Have a Heart for Kids Day rally, 2015

Media Digest 02-08-2011

Christina 02/08/11

In this week’s news, Children’s Alliance stands up for critical investments in State Food Assistance and Apple Health for Kids, as House Speaker Frank Chopp calls Apple Health for Kids the best children’s coverage program in the nation. Meanwhile, two state legislators fight for a children’s benefit to unemployment insurance, state income assistance cuts continue to hit Washington families hard, and lawmakers in Olympia revive the idea of closing tax exemptions for revenue. 

Hungry children predicted to get hungrier | The Columbian | 02-02-2011
“Everything is on the chopping block,” Linda Stone said of state dollars that match federal programs to feed children. Stone is the food policy director of the Children’s Alliance, a statewide group. “A million people now in the state of Washington receive food stamps,” she told the crowd of about 75 at First Congregational United Church in Hazel Dell. A million means more than one in seven Washingtonians. Stone said there is a direct link between how children do in life — and school — and whether they are well fed. And it starts in the womb, she said. She said her organization wants to “protect investments” made over the past two decades.
House & Spurn: Health care cuts hit home | Yakima Herald-Republic | 02-05-2011
Jon Gould, deputy director of Children’s Alliance in Seattle, is concerned about how Gregoire’s proposal will affect the health and safety of children. One of her biggest proposals for the next two-year budget would strip medical coverage to an estimated 27,000 children whose legal status is unclear under the Apple Health for Kids program, for a savings of $59 million. If those cuts take effect, 3,493 Yakima County youths would be ineligible for medical benefits, he said. Gould contends the Constitution gives all children rights to basic education, and they must be healthy to learn. "We believe there is no such thing as an illegal child," he said. "Children are children, and their health needs don’t change based on where they were born."
Social services on chopping block in Ore. and Wash.| Northwest Public Radio | 02-04-2011
“It’s a tremendous success. We’re now up to about 97-percent coverage of health care of kids in the state. Ninety-seven percent.” That’s Washington House Speaker Frank Chopp, a Democrat, extolling the virtues of the state’s Apple Health for Kids program … Speaker Chopp describes Apple Health as a financial and moral win-win. Frank Chopp: “And because we’re doing so well, it’s the best in the nation in my opinion, we’re leveraging a lot of new federal dollars as bonuses basically because we’re carrying out that ethic. I mean who among us would want to deny children health care particularly when they need to be healthy and ready to learn to succeed in school?” 
Sen. Maria Cantwell Applauds Two-Year Anniversary of Children’s Health Reauthorization | The State Column | 02-04-2011
“I am proud that legislation I helped enact two years ago is continuing to help millions of low-income children gain access to quality health insurance coverage, including thousands of uninsured children in Washington state,” said Senator Cantwell. Washington state has long been a leader in providing children with access to care. The state’s Apple Health for Kids Program eases enrollment for children who meet eligibility standards.
Guest Column: Reform unemployment system to help families | The Seattle Times | 02-04-2011
State Reps. Mike Sells (38th District)and Chris Reykdal (22nd District): “It is well-established economic fact that the quickest and most effective way to funnel money back to businesses is to put it in the pockets of those who need it most — the families who have lost their employment.” A child benefit “is a shot in the arm to our economy, more so than any other, including tax breaks.”
5,000 Families Cut From State Welfare Program| KXLY TV | 02-03-2011
Mary Ann Murphy is the executive director of Partners with Families and Children and 95-percent of the people she serves rely on TANF funding. “It kind of makes me crazy because very often the children we see here are victims of crime and whoever committed this crime against them, we pay more to incarcerate them than we do to continue to support these families, and that just seems out of balance,” Murphy said.
Exemptions row returns as lawmakers try to close gap | Tacoma News Tribune | 02-06-2011
[A] few Democrats are reviving the idea of closing tax exemptions to save prized programs such as the Basic Health Plan.… AARP state director Doug Shadell said his group paid for a poll of 803 voters statewide in late November and December that shows 77 percent of registered voters support new tax revenue; the poll’s error margin was 3.5 percent.
Legislators want more say on the budget | Tacoma News Tribune | 02-06-2011
There are moves in both the House and Senate to take more authority over the welfare budget from the governor. Of 98 House members, 79 have signed on to a bill in a rare show of support that signals to Gregoire that the House, at least, could override a veto. “The budget is our document and we need to have control over all of it, because it’s all connected,” said Rep. Bill Hinkle, a Cle Elum Republican sponsoring the bill.