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Advocates for the poor rally Thursday to bemoan budget cuts (they have an audience)

Post by Joe Turner on Sep. 30, 2009 at 12:54 pm with No Comments »
September 30, 2009 12:54 pm

If a tree falls in the woods and there’s nobody around to hear it, does it make a sound?

SEIU union members and others don’t take any chances. They make darn sure that lawmakers are in town when they make noise at a rally.

And since Thursday and Friday are Assembly Days for the Legisature, they are guaranteed an audience.

Advocates and Consumers To Speak Out About Impact Of Cuts To Health And Human Services

Wednesday, September 30, 2009 – Health and human services advocates announce a “speak out” about the impact of cuts from the 2009-11 biennial budget on Washington state’s health and human services system. The event will take place on Thursday, October 1, from 12-1:30 p.m., near the Sundial between the John L O’Brien and John A Cherberg buildings on the Capitol Campus in Olympia.

Budget cuts in the 2009-11 budget that have impacted our state’s health and human service system include:

· Reduction of 5 million hours of in-home care, meaning that seniors and people with disabilities are going without needed supports including bathing, meal preparation, and supervision;

· 173 ECEAP (Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program) slots cut while there was a waiting list for Headstart/ ECEAP of over 2100 children;

· 43% cut to funding for the Basic Health Plan, a state-subsidized health insurance program for the working poor;

· In addition to the $39 million decrease in local and state funds to public health at the start of the 2009-2011 biennium, local health jurisdictions anticipate an additional loss of $26 million dollars in 2009 alone. This means additional cuts to communicable disease control such as immunization clinics, tuberculosis, and HIV. Reduction or elimination of vital community services such as WIC, family planning, school health, home visiting services for at-risk mothers and children, child protective services, as well as less public health nursing services as well as decreased resources to ensure safe drinking water in some communities.

Speakers will include Sherri McDonald, Director of Thurston County’s Public Health and Social Services Department, who will talk about the impact of the cuts to WIC and Family Planning on local delivery of public health services. Other speakers will address the impact of the cuts to children’s services, long-term care services, and head start and early childhood services.

Jon Gould of the statewide Children’s Alliance said, “Millions of Washingtonians rely on our health and human services systems to meet their basic needs. State budget cuts have left gaping holes in the safety net for vulnerable populations, like seniors, children, and people with disabilities. The cuts must end. Legislators should look at all options – including increasing revenue – in order to prevent even more damaging cuts to Washington families.”

Legislators, community members, and press are invited to attend the event.

General Politics
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