By Evan Smith, Herald writer
In the report from democratic state Rep. Ruth Kagi here three days ago, she said that House budget writers had been able to save a program to allow low-income families to get subsidized child care so they can remain employed or further their education.
Since then, the Senate passed a budget when three Democrats joined minority Republicans to form a one-vote majority.
Kagi noted that the Senate budget takes more than $200 million out of the Temporary Aid for Needy Families program, a reduction that she said will have a severe effect on low-income families.
“Last session we reduced TANF by over $400 million to address the budget deficit,” she said. “If we take the Senate’s reduction, we will be taking away child care for thousands of low-income families who are working to support their families, and cutting families off of TANF a year earlier. We are seeing the consequences of the cuts we have already made in our classrooms across the state.
“In the House we maintain the frayed safety net. The Senate budget eliminates many pieces of the net.”
Kagi is a member of the House Ways and Means Committee and the House committee on health and human services appropriations and oversightm in addition to being chairwoman of the House committee on early learning and human services.
She represents the 32nd Legislative District, which now includes Woodway, south Edmonds, nearby unincorporated areas of southwest Snohomish County, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Kenmore and part of Kirkland. With redistricting, the district will no longer include Lake Forest Park, Kenmore and Kirkland, and will add Lynnwood and part of northwest Seattle.
Evan Smith can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.