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SNAP to It! Calls to Action on State & Federal Budgets

Last week, the state Senate and House issued their first drafts of a supplemental budget. There is a lot to be thankful for as both budgets offer some good investments that have been needed to support struggling individuals and families:

  • Both budgets would finish the job of restoring the 15% cut to the TANF cash grant so that families with children can buy basic necessities like diapers or pay the rent. The House version goes a step further, with an increase that doesn’t just restore but strengthens assistance and funds HB 1831, which would help more eligible families access TANF and its support services without having to spend down modest savings or sell a reliable vehicle.
  • The Senate budget also provides the funds needed to fully implement HB 2578/SB 5407, helping to ensure safe and affordable housing without discrimination based on a renter’s need for public assistance.
  • For the first time, the House budget includes new and sustainable revenue that would be provided by closing the loophole on exempting capital gains. This would provide critically needed funding to pay for basic education, freeing up resources to invest in other priorities.

New and sustainable revenue is critical if we want sufficient funding to implement HB 1508, the Washington Kids Ready to Learn Act, which now only needs the Governor’s signature to become law. You have been a critical voice in the campaign to pass breakfast after the bell legislation–we need you to rally to help finish the job by calling on both the House and the Senate to provide sufficient funding needed to fully implement 1508–the funding needed for one-time startup grants for schools, for staff at OSPI to provide technical assistance and gather data on student breakfast participation, and to restore the promise of WSDA’s Small Farms Direct Marketing and Farm to School programs.

In other words, both the House and Senate budget proposals are a good start, reflecting our values and priorities to take care of our neighbors so that all of our communities are healthier and thriving. This stands in stark contrast to the President’s budget, offered earlier this month, which threatens to cut food, housing, and health care, and other basic needs services for the poor. Take action today to make our state budget even better for helping hungry kids and to keep the heat on Congress to reject harsh cuts and structural changes to SNAP and other programs that are a lifeline for struggling individuals and families.