In this edition, you’ll find information on Washington State’s lack of alternative revenue sources that other states count on to fund education and health services. You’ll also read about the challenge to provide low-cost child care to community college student parents. Most student parents access child care through Working Connections, a child care program available through the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) that helps eligible families pay for child care. The program covered just 10 percent of families in 2005.
Washington is one of seven states that currently has no personal income tax. But our state is more of an outlier than even that number would suggest — because of those seven states, six have an alternative source of revenue that Washington lacks. I-1098 isn’t going to be a cure-all for our fiscal and economic woes — there are many pieces to that puzzle. But it would be a step in the right direction for Washington State.
The main struggle for the Center for Families at Edmonds Community College, which serves about 300 children over the course of a week, involves providing low-cost child care to student parents who need it most. Currently, more than 50 percent of the students enrolled at the center utilize the child care system through Working Connections, a child care program available through the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS), helping those eligible families to pay for the costs of child care. In 2005, just 10 percent of families were covered by the program.
It's not a pretty picture, the overall state of dental care for California's kids. That's because too many of them -- one-quarter, to be exact -- don't have it. Yep. One in 4 have never even been to a dentist. That attention-grabbing statistic is from a dental-care study released Wednesday and published in the July issue of the journal Health Affairs. "Poor oral health has important implications for the healthy development of children. Children in Medicaid, especially Latinos and African Americans, experience high rates of tooth decay, yet they visit dentists less often than privately insured children."
That's the word in the latest state revenue report, issued Monday by the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council. The revenue collections for the past month were $91.3 million less than predicted just a few weeks ago for the state's general fund.
The United States stacks up poorly with many developed nations on key measurements of childhood well-being, such as poverty, and should invest more in programs that help kids age zero to six, a report found. U.S. child poverty rates are double the average of its member countries, 21.6 percent compared to 12.4 percent.
In 2008, 22 percent of America's children lived in homes dubbed "food insecure," which means that there isn't always access to enough food in the home. That number was up from 17 percent in 2007. Not surprisingly, the number of children living in homes where at least one parent was working full-time also decreased by 2 percent, and the number of children living in poverty rose from 18 percent to 19 percent from 2007 to 2008, according to the report.
Voters in Washington trust the state more than the private sector when it comes to selling liquor, according to a new poll. Two high-profile initiatives seek to get Washington, one of a minority of states that still controls spirits sales, out of the liquor business. One measure, Initiative 1100, will qualify for the November ballot and the other one - Initiative 1105 - almost certainly will as well.