In this edition, the Children’s Alliance stood strong for children last week in Olympia, fighting for a balanced approach to the budget, children’s health, state food assistance and early learning, but Wednesday, Gov. Chris Gregoire proposed unprecedented eliminations and cuts in her two-year-budget, while local social service advocates spoke on the very real consequences of these cuts on Washington’s most vulnerable communities.
Gregoire budget would slash programs, cut $4 billion | The Seattle Times | 12-15-2010
Gov. Chris Gregoire had four words to summarize the state spending plan she proposed Wednesday that would dump programs for the poor, slash education, close prisons and reduce ferry runs. "I hate my budget," she said, her voice shaking with emotion. "I hate it because in some places I don't even think it's moral," she said. "Who'd have ever thought that I would be doing this?"
Reaction to Gregoire’s Budget Proposal | PubliCola | 12-15-2010
Social service advocates responded quickly today to Gov. Gregoire’s budget proposal…“It’s time for a real discussion. It’s time for us to talk about what we value, and how we’re going to fund it,” said (Susan) Tekola, a nurse at Harborview Public Hospital in Seattle.
- See more coverage here:
- Gregoire budget slashes social programs, schools | The Spokesman-Review | 12-15-2010
- Gregoire lays out massive budget cuts | The Politics Blog - The Olympian | 12-15-2010
See more coverage here:
State cuts could have been worse, and soon they will be | Peter Callaghan - Tacoma News Tribune | 12-11-2010
With state legislators convened in a quick special session today to get a head start on the latest round of budget cuts, advocates for education and social services knew they couldn’t stop the tanks as desperate lawmakers were intent on cutting their way out of another budget hole. So they were left to point out the worst of the worst and then thank budget writers for small favors… Health care programs for poor kids wasn’t done too much damage. Apple Health covers 700,000 kids in the state to some degree, with some parents taking on some of the cost. “It buys time,” Jon Gould of the Children’s Alliance said of funding for Apple Health for children. “Thank you for buying that time.”
Wash. Lawmakers Take Bite Out Of $1.1B Shortfall In Special Session | KUOW NPR | 12-13-2010
Washington lawmakers hope they’ve taken a sizeable bite out ofthe state’s $1.1 billion budget shortfall. The legislature met Saturdayin what’s been called an unprecedented December special session.Governor Chris Gregoire demanded the lame-duck meeting saying shecouldn’t solve the problem alone.
- Governor’sBudget proposal for 2011-13: Out of sync with Washington state values |Smudget Blog (Washington State Budget & Policy Center | 12-15 -2010
Early Learning Challenge Fund Gets Another Chance & Washington Gov. Proposes Early Ed Cuts | Birth to Thrive Online (Blog, Thrive to Five Washington) | 12-15-2010
According to the Children’s Alliance initial analysis, the governor’s proposed budget plan calls for cutting 1,324 three-year-olds from the (ECEAP) program and adding 662 four-year-olds, saving $9 million…Back in Washington, D.C., there is better news on money for early learning. The Senate spending bill contains a $1.8-billion increase for early learning – an $840-million boost for Head Start and Early Head Start, a $680 million-increase for the Child Care Development Block Grant and $300 million for the Early Learning Challenge Fund, according to Politics K-12 CLASP.
Early Learning Programs Dodge Deep Cuts in Latest Washington State Budget | Birth to Thrive Online (Blog, Thrive by Five Washington) | 12-14-2010
On Wednesday, Gov. Christine Gregoire is expected to release her proposed budget for the next biennium, and by early next week she will release another round of proposed across-the-board cuts for the current budget cycle. The Department of Early Learning, child care subsidies and other early education programs could be hit. “I think overall it went OK, but we are waiting for the next step,” Leslie Dozono, director of Early Learning Policy at the Seattle-based Children's Alliance said. “We are not out of the woods. We bought a little more time.” It could have been a lot worse.
Pierce County food banks face growing demand | Tacoma News Tribune |12-12-2010
Food-assistance programs operated by the state Department of Agriculture have seen a 27 percent increase in demand the past two years, state officials said. The increase is higher at Emergency Food Network in Pierce County, which distributes to 67 food banks, hot meal sites and shelters, said Jeff Klein, the network’s development director. The network accounts for about 80 percent of the food distributed by those programs. From 2008 to 2009, Klein said, the number of visits to food banks climbed 37 percent…Anecdotally, he said, food bank operators say they are seeing a lot of people who never before had to go to food banks.
Food banks needing help as demand grows | KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA | 12-08-2010
Washington state's food assistance programs have seen a 27% increase in demand the past two years due to the tough economy.
Washington ranks 11 in nation in overall health | The Seattle Times | 12-07-2010
…While Washington scored well in infant mortality, in King County, the 2003-2007 death rate for American Indian babies was more than 3 ½ times than that of whites. Similar disparities exist between high and low neighborhood-poverty levels. "Once you break it out, there are huge differences," Apa said.
Obama signs child nutrition bill | CNN | 12-13-2010
President Barack Obama signed a sweeping overhaul of child nutrition standards Monday, enacting a law meant to encourage better eating habits in part by giving the federal government more authority to set standards for food sold in vending machines and elsewhere on school grounds… Some Democrats had objected to the bill because it is funded in part by stripping $2.2 billion from the federal food stamp program.