Last weekend, 24 Senators stood up in the State Legislature to fight for kids in the face of a terrible attack on programs critically needed by Washington's families.
On Friday, March 3, three Democratic Senators joined with 22 Republican Senators and used a procedural trick to force a vote on a budget that had no public hearing or public process. Their budget makes devastating cuts to programs that kids and families count on. Read more about how this happened at The Children's Alliance website:
But other lawmakers stepped up to fight to protect programs that Washington kids count on. For eight hours they attempted to block passage of the stripped budget, and offered amendment after amendment to restore the proposed cuts.
The budget that was passed at 1 a.m. on Saturday morning eliminates the State Food Assistance Program, taking food off the tables of 12,500 Washington children. It cuts 4,000 children off Working Connections Child Care, leaving their struggling parents with no way to pay for child care while they go to work. There are many more cuts.
This budget now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration. The fight for a final budget that protects children and families will continue.
The Children's Alliance, Washington's largest statewide children's advocacy organization, urges all parents (and kids too) to contact lawmakers who voted for the budget that leaves families without food or child care coverage and share their concerns. The Alliance also encourages parents to contact those who stood up for critical programs for children and families and thank them. That list includes Senators Brown, Chase, Conway, Eide, Fraser, Frockt, Hargrove, Harper, Hatfield, Haugen, Hobbs, Keiser, Kilmer, Kline, Kohl-Welles, McAuliffe, Murray, Nelson, Prentice, Pridemore, Ranker, Regala, Rolfes, and Shin.
With the fight now moving into the House of Representatives, The Children's Alliance is asking families to contact their representatives and encourage passage of a budget that meets the needs of Washington families. To do so, just click the link below: