fbpx

Mayor Jenny Durkan Condemns City Council Plan That Would Cut $6.3 Million in Funding for Critical Services Like Food Banks and Child Care

26 Views

Council Legislation Would Change Use of Short-Term Rental Tax and Sweetened Beverage Tax Revenue, Directly Eliminate Funding for Fresh Bucks, the Child Care Assistance Program for Low-Income Families and the Nurse Family Partnership, Which Provides Health Care to Low-Income Women Who Are Pregnant

Seattle (July 17, 2019) – Mayor Jenny A. Durkan today denounced a proposed plan by City Council that would cut $6.3 million funding they had approved for critical programs that provide nutrition assistance, child care for struggling families, and nursing care for low-income pregnant women. Despite previous approval by City Council as part of last year’s budget, City Council’s plan would raid funding committed to these programs without identifying the millions in other funds needed to continue these critical safety net services.

“I am disappointed that City Council is preparing to cut millions of funding for services that support our most vulnerable neighbors. Despite Council previously approving this plan by an 8-1 vote, this irresponsible step would put families in jeopardy by cutting childcare vouchers and food banks. It would undo years of work from community based organizations to ensure all our neighbors have health care, nutritious food choices and child care,” said Mayor Durkan. “Because this would either cut critical programs or run an illegal budget deficit, I will veto this ill-conceived bill.”

Council Bills 119402 and 119551 would change the Short-term Rental Tax (STR) and Sweetened Beverage Tax (SBT) revenues by preventing the City from using those revenues to support existing programs and instead dedicate the revenue to new program spending.

If the current proposal is passed, the legislation would eliminate funding for the following City-supported programs:

  • Fresh Bucks: More than 750 households would lose access to Fresh Bucks vouchers, which constitutes a $480/month benefit for food insecure households.
  • Food Banks: Reduction of 96,341 food bank visits and 11,201,010 pounds of food distributed
  • Senior Meals: 548 older adults in Seattle will not receive home delivered meals and 2,601 seniors in Seattle will not receive congregate nutrition services.
  • Children’s Nutrition: 178 children would not be served in the farm to table Program and 720 meals would not be served to students during out of school time.
  • Child Care Assistance Program: Providing child care for over 1,200 children in 2020, CCAP helps families who would not be able to cover the high cost of care in the City.
  • Parent Child Home Program: This year, 251 children have been visited through the research based Parent Child Home Program, which is helping to build school readiness.
  • Nurse Family Partnership: This funding supports a team of 16 Public Health nurses who serve 450 low-income women who are pregnant with their first child. The Public Health nurses also support first time mothers from prenatal to toddler age.

At the same time, because the City’s revenue forecast continues to show little new revenue in coming years, the Council has failed to identify other areas for funding reductions. The City’s Budget Director, Ben Noble, outlined these concerns in a June 26 note to Council, writing that “the policy proposals imbedded in Council Bills 119402 and 119551 are only half measures” that could “redirect funding without answering the question of what must be cut to make this redirection possible.”

As part of last fall’s budget process, Council approved funding appropriations for 2019 and 2020 that including using $9.4 million to support education, health care and child care. With these resources and an additional reallocation of REET revenues, the City expanded its ongoing investments in homelessness services. The Mayor proposed, and Council approved 8-1, this budget approach to address the crisis.

leverton

I have been involved with publishing and marketing for the past 37 years. My passion is helping people share their voice. I am able to do this through two important venues: One, with Area-Info.net where people can share everything from opinions to events to news. It is your choice! What do you want to share? Two, through a new program called America's Real Deal I am involved with to help business owners get their voice heard.For people who love to save money and earn while saving, there is a new program called the r network. You are provided with a card that entitles the user to automatic savings on more than 300,000 products. Learn more about the revv card today. This is by invitation only to be some of the first people to get this card.I schedule speaking engagements with community groups and business groups to share my passion about the importance of "sharing your voice".Contact me directly at lee@leeeverton.com for scheduling information.

You May Also Like