SOS: Save our Safety Net

Women with diapers she cannot afford without assitance

Save our safety net. http://www.povertyaction.org

“My TANF grant is $562 a month. My rent is $550. I am living on $12 per month right now with three kids.” –Angela, Vancouver

Washington State’s safety net is a critical public asset that ensures our neighbors and loved ones are able to survive when they have fallen on hard times or are unable to work due to an injury, age or disability. Safety net programs help families like Angela’s avoid homelessness and provide vital support as they regain their economic security.

Over the past three years, the Governor and legislature have cut billions from programs that Angela and other Washingtonians depend on to meet their basic needs. Cuts of this magnitude have whittled our state’s safety net down to its basic foundation. Now, the state is facing yet another
$2 billion revenue shortfall. In less than two weeks, lawmakers will convene at the state capitol for a special legislative session to pass a supplemental budget for the 2012-2013 fiscal year. Last month, Governor Gregoire released a “road map” of an all-cuts budget to guide lawmakers as they draft their supplemental budget proposals.

Boy with milk

Milk is not a luxury.

The proposed cuts in the Governor’s road map would put Angela and her three children 76 cents away from becoming homeless. After multiple rounds of deep budget cuts, it is difficult to fathom the possibility of further stripping programs like TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families), Disability Lifeline-Housing and Essential Needs, and health care. Low-income families cannot afford to absorb another round of cuts to the programs they depend on to survive!

On Monday, Nov. 21, the Governor will release her final supplemental budget proposal, and she needs to hear that people like Angela are barely making ends meet and cannot afford another
all-cuts budget.

Contact the Governor TODAY and urge her to include revenue in her final supplemental budget proposal.

For more information and to find out how else you can get involved, go to povertyaction.org.

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