Achievements for Kids in 2011 State Legislature
The Washington State Legislature announced a final budget agreement this week, laying out funding for the stae for the next two years. As advocates for children and families expected, services for kids took a serious hit for the next biennium.
But, according to the statewide children's advocacy group the Children's Alliance, accomplishments were made even lawmakers agreed to a long lists of cuts to programs serving children and families.
Children's Alliance Deputy Director Jon Gould stressed that the efforts of alliance volunteers, parents, and other advocates for kids made a big difference in the budget outcome.
Without those advocacy efforts, Gould said in his end-of-session release, "this legislative session would be much worse for Washington State's children and families. Because of our collective efforts, the final results for children's health, early learning, child care, and childhood hunger are far better than the proposals we saw in recent months."
Children's Alliance created this video highlighting achievements for kids made during the 2011 session of the Washington State Legislature Watch of most impact to kids.
Gould cautioned that while positive things happened this year during legislative negotiations, the losses are the wrong direction for the state.
"There is no question that, as a whole, the budget is not a good approach to coping with these economic tough times," he wrote. "The legislature chose not to close even one corporate tax break. These wasteful tax breaks siphon hundreds of millions of public dollars away from meeting the needs of children and families. Many budget choices will add up to more inequality and less opportunity for low-income families.
"The resiliency, creativity, and persistence of every struggling parent raising a child through tough economic times inspires and demands our
continued advocacy," Gould added. "While the legislative session is coming to a close, our work together continues."