Lawmakers in Olympia are considering establishing a Washington Food Policy Forum, currently sponsored by Sen. Ken Jacobson, Senate Bill 6343. Linda Stone, senior food policy coordinator of the Children's Alliance, and Jim Baird, a farmer in the Royal City area, discuss why the Forum would address food costs, access to healthy food and finding ways to support local farms. They write:
The Olympia Newswire continues its coverage of a proposed Washington state soda tax with an analysis of how efforts in this state join initiatives in other states and cities around the country to tax sugar-sweetened beverages.
A proposal enacting a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages to restore funding for health and dental services draws support from some advocates, including the Children's Alliance, and criticism from the soda industry. Olympia Newswire reviews the history of soda industry tax exemptions and how current lobbying efforts may remove the proposal from the table.
The latest proposal to extend the sales tax to candy, now exempt as a food item, is drawing both opposition and support in Olympia. The Children's Alliance supports the proposal, which would use the revenue from taxed candy to restore medical and dental programs for children. Teresa Mosqueda, advocacy & legislative relations for the Children's Alliance, says:
“We can no longer afford to subsidize candy and sweets. These items are not food items.”
As the Washington Legislature debates enacting a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages, three guests columnists in health care professions make their case for supporting a tax that would both save taxpayers money, reduce childhood obesity, and provide basic health care, nutrition and health-related educational programs.
Benjamin Danielson, M.D., vice president of the Children's Alliance board, David Fleming, M.D., director and health officer of Public
Health-Seattle & King County, and Lenna L. Liu, M.D., pediatrician at Seattle Children's Hospital write:
The latest tax proposals from the House, Senate and Governor Gregoire place many child and family programs on the chopping block. Child advocates, including the Children's Alliance, are urging lawmakers to consider the effects on business if child care funding for over 7,000 low-income families is cut.
Jon Gould, deputy director of the Children's Alliance, says:
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.
Do you know of a great child advocate? Someone who works to change the lives of children in Washington by making sure that our laws and budgets serve their needs? Someone who works to make kids our highest
priority? Tell us about them!
Each year, the Children’s Alliance honors outstanding child advocates at our Voices for Children Awards Luncheon. This year’s luncheon will be held on May 20th at the Seattle Center’s Fisher Pavilion. Nominations are now closed for the 2010 Voices for Children awards.
As lawmakers work in Olympia, the Children's Alliance and the Rebuilding Our Economic Future Coalition, of which the Children's Alliance is a member, continue to advocate for offsetting painful cuts with new revenue.
Jon Gould, the Children’s Alliance Deputy Director, pointed out that HB 3183, has more elements than just a sales tax increase for the general fund. The bill would also direct new revenue to highway projects and public transportation.
A recent report by the Food Research and Action Center found that 18.8 respondents in the North Olympic Peninsula have had trouble affording enough
Linda Stone, senior food policy coordinator for Washington's Children's Alliance, said the 6th Congressional District probably was high on the list because it is largely rural.
Almost one in five households across Washington state reported they didn’t have enough money to buy the food they needed in 2009. Families with kids are hurting even more, with 23 percent saying they struggled to put food on their tables, according to a new report released by the Food Research and Action Center.