Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

Tag: state budget

April
15th

BUDGET: Senate plan would hurt needy people

The state Senate operating and capital budgets proposed in the past two weeks would cut housing, health care and child care for vulnerable citizens in these ways:

• Eliminating the Aged, Blind and Disabled program.

• Cutting state homelessness programs by 52 percent.

• Increasing the number of people experiencing homelessness during the 2013-2015 biennium by 20,400 more people.

• Drastically cutting a variety of safety net programs like Temporary Assistance to Needy Families and Working Connections Child Care.

• Significantly cutting the Housing Trust Fund

While an education-focused budget for K-12 and higher education will help solve many of

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Dec.
3rd

BUDGET: Stop targeting mentally ill

After reviewing the 2013-2014 Proposed Biennial budgets, I am concerned about the changes that will be implemented to the human services agencies.

Although I am aware that cuts needs to be implemented to offset the budget, I am concerned about the any further taxes on mental health clients. As a provider, I am irritated by the ongoing attempts that may cause financial strain on those with a mental illness diagnosis. As city, we often are talking about the inability to find resources, but our children, mentally ill clients and impoverished community members seem to be targeted.

What do you think

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May
7th

SCHOOLS: Families pay for those furlough days

How is it that the collective memory is so short that the impending furlough days for the next several school years is forgotten by most? (There are 3.5 in the Federal Way School District for each of the next two years.)

Parents will have to arrange something for seven half-days of early dismissal; there’s no other way to still fulfill the “180 school day” requirement.

Just how much IS a pay cut of 3.5 days for schoolteachers? ( Do the math: Take what you’re currently earning in yearly gross pay, divide by 180, then multiply by 3.5. A significant number

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April
12th

BUDGET: Zarelli editorial fails readers

The News Tribune’s recent editorial regarding the backlash from Sen. Joe Zarelli’s comments on state disability programs (MCS and HEN) appears to have missed the main issue.

Zarelli made a public appeal for the termination of these programs on the grounds that recipients are eligible as a result of life choices and substance abuse. This is untrue. The program rules preclude eligibility for individuals who are disabled primarily due to substance abuse.

Rather than expose Zarelli’s falsehoods, the TNT’s editorial board has decided to defend him as one of the “good guys in Olympia” who “understands state spending.” Unfortunately,

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April
6th

BUDGET: Don’t cut benefits to the disabled

Re: “Zarelli draws federal disability, eyes state cuts” (TNT, 4-6).

I have a brother who, through no fault of his own, is a lifelong schizophrenic. He depends on the services state Sen. Joseph Zarelli wants to cut.

Most of the people who depend on these services are mentally ill, not dependent because of “poor life choices.” Most people who make lifelong “poor choices” are mentally ill to begin with.

Shame on the politicians who want to cut out the services that needy people are so desperately dependent on. And extra shame on politicians like Zarelli who are so blantantly

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March
23rd

BUDGET: Stop lying to readers

I was astounded to hear about the criminal accounting gimmicks that the governor and Legislature are considering in order to “fix” the budget. Then I saw your paper’s article, “Could this be the idea that will fix state budget?” (TNT, 3-22) and was really disappointed.

This is yet another gimmick to further the austerity program being implemented by both the Democrats and Republicans. What is this going to do to help the thousands affected by budget cuts? Nothing!

This is just another way for the Democrats to pat themselves on the back while kicking the can down the road.

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March
22nd

BUDGET: Gimmick doesn’t result in more revenue

Re: “Could this be the idea that will fix the budget?” (TNT, 3-22).

So, state politicians think and hope they found an additional $238 million to spend. As an accountant, I agree it could help cash flow, but the article stated that local governments would get their money at the same time as they have been, so there is no cash flow benefit.

The article also states that this scheme will strengthen the state’s balance sheet. It will increase the state’s cash account. but at the same time the offset would be a liability on the balance sheet to

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March
21st

HEALTH CARE: State takeover isn’t warranted

Re: “Bipartisan plan would give school employees health care equity” (Viewpoint, 3-21).

The Senate Republican budget includes millions of dollars to fund a government takeover of K-12 employee health care. SB 6442 takes away private-sector competition, local decision-making and consumer choice. Replacing the current health care system with one that is run by state government bureaucrats makes no sense.

State senators currently get $850 per month for health insurance from the state for working less than half time. K-12 employees who work half time — which is more than most senators — get $384 per month from the state

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