In this edition you can find several news updates on the connections between our statewide policies in early learning and kids' health and what happens (or doesn't happen) in the other Washington. And you'll find several updates on statewide ballot initiatives on tax policy. Children's Alliance Deputy Director Jon Gould brings the perspective of kids' advocates to an article reporting that the American Beverage Association-backed attack on the candy and soda tax will likely make it to the ballot.
Wash. anti-tax campaigns turns in signatures | Seattle Times I 07-02-2010
Two anti-tax initiatives moved closer Friday to making the November ballot when supporters turned in petitions with hundreds of thousands of signatures. The tax on soda adds 2 cents to the sale of every 12-ounce container but exempts bottlers with $10 million or less in sales volume. The loss of revenue from the taxes would bring more cuts to state programs, said Jon Gould of the Children's Alliance, which opposes the initiative. "The choice for us is clear, a few extra pennies or the loss of essential services for kids," he said.
Experiments in soda taxes and pay walls I The Curious Capitalist - Time Magazine I 07-02-2010
My story in this week's magazine is about the movement among state and local governments to tax soda. Such taxes are seen as a way to both raise revenue and discourage consumption of a product linked to obesity (and, in turn, rising health costs). As Kansas state senator John Vratil told me, "I thought we might kill two birds with one stone." First of all, there's not any convincing evidence that a soda tax would cost people their jobs. Yes, a penny-per-ounce tax would raise the price of a 2 liter bottle of soda by 68 cents, and that would surely cause people to buy less of it. But does that mean they'd switch over to tap water?
Opinion: Evolution of politics around health care has been breathtaking | Seattle Times I 07-04-2010
Federal health-care reform cannot be rhetorical only. Yet, guest columnist Brendan Williams, a Washington state representative, argues that is what it will be if federal Medicaid money is not approved by Congress. On March 23, after a decades-long congressional battle, a new federal commitment to ensuring health-care access was signed into law. For many it was a triumphant moment. Yet just two months later, on May 28, the House stripped $24 billion in promised Medicaid funding out of a federal jobs bill.
K-12 Take Two: Feds Should Look to States for Early Ed Ideas I Birth to Thrive Online I 07-01-2010
As policymakers debate how to reform the U.S. education system, and early learning’s role in that effort, some advocates are suggesting they look to states for ideas. Early education advocates are talking with senators and representatives about how deficit-laden states are finding ways to encourage expansion of pre-kindergarten
Income Tax Measure Appears Headed For Wash. Ballot I Northwest Public Radio I 07-02-2010
For the first time in nearly four decades, it appears Washington voters will decide whether to create a personal income tax. Thursday, supporters of Initiative 1098 submitted more than 350-thousand voter signatures. It’s a “tax-the-rich” proposal backed by the father of one of the richest men in the world.
Governors ramp up lobbying for federal Medicaid dollars I Stateline.org I 07-01-2010
As Congress continues to squabble over whether to provide additional Medicaid dollars to cash-strapped states, a dozen governors used the July 1 state budget deadline to make their case for the money. Their argument: Without $25 billion in additional aid, states’ fiscal health and the nation’s fragile economic recovery could be in jeopardy.