Women and Children First? Not in Senate Budget
The recently passed Senate budget solves the $1 billion shortfall largely through cuts that will impact families, individuals and communities across the state. Approximately 45 percent of the cuts directly impact women and children, stripping away services that keep mothers healthy through pregnancy, eliminating food assistance for hungry kids, and halting assistance for families seeking employment.
This lopsided budget begs the question— what are the priorities for Washington state?
- Provide food for 12,000 hungry kids ($14 million) OR provide preferential B&O tax rates for wholesalers of prescription drugs? ($14 million)
- Help parents find and keep jobs, access affordable child care, and afford housing ($200 million) OR give tax breaks to the aerospace industry and exempt microbreweries from the beer excise tax? ($197 million)
- Guarantee a high-quality education for our children ($40 million) OR grant a sales tax deferral for technology businesses? ($35.4 million)
- Keep women healthy during pregnancy, promote positive birth outcomes, and reduce the amount of unintended pregnancies ($6 million) OR provide restaurants a credit for taxes paid on soft drink syrup? ($8.3 million)
With a mere two days left in the regular 2012 legislative session, now is the time to get our priorities straight. Putting Washington on the path to prosperity will require continued investments in women—who make up half of our workforce and remain the primary caregivers for our children—and kids, who will determine our future.
For more information on the impact of cuts on women and children, see our recent brief: Women, Work, and Washington: How State Budget Cuts are Hurting All Three.