Weekly Update: Staying the Course

AHNC Members,

 

As you know, last week the Senate approved a harmful budget which cuts State Food Assistance (food stamp benefits for legal immigrants).  The Senate budget closes no tax loopholes, provides no tax on capital gains and no other way to raise revenue to support the many critical health and safety net programs that have been cut in their budget (including Disability Lifeline, TANF benefits and more).

 

Cuts to these and other critical safety net programs is unacceptable.  Lawmakers must take a balanced approach to the budget, which includes new revenue.

 

The proposed House budget provides funding for the Coalition’s legislative priorities with the exception of SFA which is funded at 50%.  Additionally, only the House budget includes new revenue to offset harmful cuts to safety net programs.

 

While the House and Senate have yet to agree on a budget to send to the Governor for her signature, the special legislative session has provided an extended opportunity to advocate for new revenue and for critical programs like SFA, Disability Lifeline and TANF, as well as for our 2012 legislative priorities.

 

You stepped up in a big way last week when we called for Letters to the Editor to be sent to the media in districts of critical lawmakers- thank you for your quick action to help make sure the impact of the proposed cuts remains a part of the ongoing discussion, not just behind closed doors, but in the public as well.

 

Here are some of the LTEs that were published and other articles around SFA:

 

State should maintain food assistance via the Renton Reporter 3-21-2012

Food bank official decries cuts in GOP budget plan | Murrow News Service via The News Tribune (Tacoma) | 03-19-2012

State GOP budget continues war on women and children | The Stranger (Slog) | 03-16-2012

Letter: Keep state food assistance | The Spokesman-Review | 03-15-2012

Letter: Protect families from hunger | The Spokesman-Review | 03-15-2012

Letter: Don’t cut valuable programs | The Columbian | 03-07-2012

Marshallese could be caught in food aid “limbo land”

New Revenue

Earlier this week Our Economic Future Coalition held a press conference to call on the legislature to reject the Senate budget and its disproportionate impact on Washingtonians in need.

 

Those who rely on Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Housing and Essential Needs, and Disability Lifeline assistance for physically or mentally disabled people who are unable to work, Working Connections child care, and other critical services were in attendance and spoke to the media about the impact of such cuts.

 

Events

The past few weeks have seen some great anti-hunger related events put on by our community partners, including Food Lifeline’s Agency Conference and United Way of King County’s Hunger Action Week. Here are some upcoming events:

WithinReach Annual Luncheon:  April 25th

Northwest Harvest Annual Meeting:  June 1st

AHNC Membership Meeting:  April 10th (2:30-4:30pm), location TBA


 

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