Senate and House lawmakers have rightly proposed budgets that raise substantial new revenue to protect some of the vital services that are helping children and families weather this punishing recession. But more revenue is needed to prevent devastating cuts to safety-net programs that, if enacted, would hurt families and pose serious threats to our state’s economic recovery.
We applaud the Senate proposal for protecting Maternity Support Services, Apple Health for Kids coverage, and Working Connections Child Care, and for not imposing a time limit that would kick some 12,000 children off Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). We’re concerned, however, that the Senate is proposing:
- Wiping out state funding for Apple Health for Kids outreach, which helps uninsured children get comprehensive, preventive health coverage. This $425,000 cut would also jeopardize federal matching funds and make it harder for Washington to win annual federal performance bonus payments.
- Millions of dollars in cuts to proven, effective investments in oral health services for children and adults.
- Eliminating funding to make locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables more widely available in schools.
We applaud the House proposal for fully protecting Maternity Support Services, Apple Health for Kids, and the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP). But we’re concerned that the House is proposing:
- A $49 million cut to Working Connections Child Care, which would deny about 7,000 low-income parents access to affordable child care they need to stay in the work force.
- And more cuts to a range of child welfare services, including behavioral rehabilitation for high-needs foster kids, shelters that help keep youth off the streets, and life-skills training for adolescents aging out of the system.
“With less than two weeks left in the legislative session, many services that for decades have provided opportunities for children and families are in serious jeopardy,” said Jon Gould, deputy director of the Children’s Alliance. “Now is the time for our lawmakers to stand firm in their support of kids and raise more revenue to provide families with supports that will help lift Washington out of the recession.”
Jon Gould, Deputy Director, (206) 324-0340 x19, cell: (206) 683-2674, firstname.lastname@example.org
Liz Gillespie, Communications Manager, (206) 324-0340 x18, cell: (206) 289-0593, email@example.com
The Children’s Alliance is a statewide public policy advocacy organization that works at the state and federal level to ensure that all children have what they need to thrive. Current campaigns focus on health care, ending childhood hunger, early learning, and foster care. Our membership includes 125 organizations and more than 10,000 individuals statewide who are members of our Children’s Action Network. To learn more about the Children’s Alliance, go to www.childrensalliance.org. To sign up for our media list, e-mail Liz Gillespie at firstname.lastname@example.org.