Senate proposal affects Washington’s low-income families

On Feb. 28, Washington State Senate released its proposed supplemental budget, which aims to protect, maintain, and even restore some lost funding to essential services for low-income children, families, immigrants, seniors, and people with disabilities.

With low-income families still reeling from more than $4 billion in cuts from the 2011 Legislative Session, the Senate has taken steps to bolster our state’s safety net programs, including the Basic Health Plan, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), Disability Lifeline-Medical, Housing and Essential Needs (formerly Disability Lifeline), Adult Dental, Apple Health for Kids, and Working Connections Child Care (WCCC).

In particular, Senate opted to reinvest in the state’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Working Connections Child Care (WCCC) programs. The reinvestments in these two programs will provide immediate relief to families struggling to meet their basic needs, according to Marcy Bowers, director of the Statewide Poverty Action Network.

“TANF assists me in paying for my rent and basic necessities,” said Renee Jones, a low-income parent from Kent. “This program makes sure I am able to put food on my table and access childcare assistance that allows me to seek out education and gain self-sufficiency.”

“We applaud the Senate for including funds to buy back the 15 percent TANF grant cut from 2011,” said Bowers. “This will help families like Renee’s now, as well as lay the groundwork for success in the future.” (end)

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