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Preserve Our Safety Net!

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Preserve Our Safety Net!

Preserve Our Safety Net!

Since 2009, Washington state has cut $11 billion from our state operating budget. With little in our state budget that is available for spending cuts, those cuts have been taken out of programs that help make higher education more affordable, increase public safety, and provide services to low and moderate income families.

The cuts that have had the most damaging impact on Washington families are those that have been made to Washington’s WorkFirst program. This is the program that provides temporary cash assistance to low-income families while they work towards self-sufficiency with job training and education. Families in this program receive cash assistance to pay for basic necessities like food, rent, diapers, and personal hygiene items, but the value of that cash assistance has dropped by 40%. Only two other states—Hawaii and Arizona—are worse at investing in low-income families with this kind of temporary cash assistance. When families lose this assistance, it contributes to increasing homelessness, poorer health outcomes, and undermining these families’ efforts to find work and become self-sufficient.

Washington can’t afford another all cuts approach to our budget that would likely chip away from the WorkFirst program and do even more damage than these cuts have already done. Find out more by reading this recent blog post from the Washington State Budget and Policy Center.

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