- Wash. To End Food Stamps For Legal Immigrants | KUOW Radio | 01-10-2011
- Op-Ed: State lawmakers should review whether tax breaks are still worthy | The Seattle Times | 01-07-2011
- Axing the Budget | Pacific Northwest Inlander | 01-05-2010
In this edition, Children’s Alliance Deputy Director Jon Gould speaks up on KUOW for the 14,000 Washington families at risk of losing their food stamps. Also, Washington State Budget & Policy Center’s Remy Trupin makes a case for closing tax breaks for revenue, State Rep. Andy Billig D – Spokane, states that Apple Health for Kids is his absolute priority, and Gov. Chris Gregoire calls for consolidating all education boards, commissions and agencies into a single state education department led by one appointed secretary.
Nearly 14,000 low–income people in Washington use the state program, about half are children. The average food benefit is $114 a month. But it appears that's coming to an abrupt end. “This loss couldn't come at worse time,” says Jon Gould of the Children’s Alliance. “Losing food assistance coupled with potentially the loss of health care and other social services. It's the worst possible time to have families experience that loss." The Children's Alliance and other advocates are pushing lawmakers to keep the food stamp program alive.
Not all tax subsidies are bad especially if they accomplish something. But some tax breaks have been on the books since the 1930s, and we've never looked to see if they still make sense.
“My priority in the budget is going to be protecting the most vulnerable. The top of my list is Apple Health for Kids,” Andy Billig (D) says, referring to the program that provides health care to the state’s uninsured children. “It would be a huge backwards step for us if we cut it. That’s No. 1 for me.”
Legislative leaders say that they will look at alternatives to Gov. Chris Gregoire's proposed eliminations of state-funded health care for the poor and assistance for the disabled.... On Tuesday, House Speaker Frank Chopp, D-Seattle, said that lawmakers will seek reforms within the programs to shave off costs, instead of completely cutting them.
They will also eliminate the Disability Lifeline grant, affecting 21,000 people. The Apple Health for Kids program, which provides medical assistance to kids, is cutting its eligibility, affecting 27,000 children…. “It is our position to cover all kids,” says Cassie Sauer of the Washington State Hospital Association.
The proposal would eliminate the boards that recommend education policy in the state and consolidate preschool, K-12 and higher-ed agencies under the Education Department. It would also have the elected superintendent of public instruction report to the new education secretary, a move that would require a voter-approved state constitutional amendment.
Gov. Chris Gregoire is proposing a new state Department of Education that would take over duties handled by the voter-elected state school superintendent and other agencies.
While big ticket items like the removal of the Basic Health plan and massive cutbacks in education received much attention, loss of services that support minorities exclusively such as medical interpretation, refugee employment assistance, and naturalization preparation have gone largely unnoticed.