This past session, the Children’s Alliance fought for policy solutions rooted in our commitment to improve the lives of Washington’s children and advance racial equity, so every child has the opportunity they deserve.
After historic progress in 2015, this year the legislature didn’t embrace many of the opportunities available to advance kids’ well-being.
Lawmakers did not seize a chance to fight child poverty by restoring harmful cuts to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. They took a step backward on early learning, with a budget decision that will likely create a waitlist for child care later this year. They failed to expand the dental team by creating dental therapists. And the lack of action to raise revenue and close unproductive tax preferences continues to threaten the basic services kids need to grow up healthy and learning.
Even in a year of no major victories for kids, there is progress to celebrate. Lawmakers passed House Bill 2439 to expand children’s access to preventive mental health care. The budget raised the pay of early childhood educators working in family child care.
Change takes time. Every action we take together yields progress toward our goals. With parents, service providers and community leaders from all across the state, the Children’s Alliance will continue to lead the way to ensure every child has a path of opportunity to reach their vast potential.
Download a PDF copy of our 2016 Legislative Review.