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Join Today’s Day of Action for #AmericanRescuePlan

Today is a National Day of Action to tell the Senate to act quickly in passing a COVID relief package that is modeled on President Biden’s American Rescue Plan. This package will provide much needed help for reducing economic hardship for tens of millions of people, including food assistance, extension of unemployment benefits, increasing housing assistance, fiscal relief for states and other local/tribal governments, and expansions to health coverage.

Nationally, more than 1 in 3 adults report difficulties in affording basic household expenses for food, rent, and utilities.  The pandemic continues to exacerbate racial disparities in hardship as more than 1 in 2 Black and Latinx adults report this same hardship.

Urging passage of the American Rescue Plan will include key provisions for food assistance programs at a time when hunger continues to grow to unprecedented levels: in Washington State, nearly 1 in 5 adults living with children report that they can’t afford sufficient food for themselves or their children. The plan will extend boosted SNAP benefits through the end of September, extend the Pandemic EBT program that provides grocery money to replace missed school and summer meals through the end of the pandemic, boost food assistance programs for older adults, and increase the fruit and vegetable benefits from the WIC program that supports targeted nutrition needs for pregnant and nursing mothers, infants, and young children. Boosting SNAP, P-EBT, and WIC not only helps to get food to struggling people; this relief also boosts our economy, supporting jobs in our local food economies as benefits are spent to buy food essential for good health.

There’s also action needed at the state level as this week, our 2021 legislative session reaches the halfway point. Last week, two key bills that are essential for bolstering our economy and the economic wellbeing of struggling families and individuals had milestone passages: HB 1297 which will provide recovery rebates through funding the Working Families Tax Credit passed out of House Appropriations and SB 5096 which proposes a modest excise tax on certain capital gains passed out of Ways and Means. With unemployment still hovering over 7% statewide, these bills will respectively help provide tax relief for lower income families and start cleaning up our tax code so we can afford the food, rental, and other economic assistance needed to rebuild our economy

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