The Senate has released its proposed state budget for the 2023-25 biennium. We are deeply concerned about funding for 211 and the Imagination Library funding and need your help See below for details.
We are currently working with stakeholders to provide live testimony at the Senate budget hearing at 2 p.m. today (materials and TVW link).
You can help by adding your voice with a comment on this proposal via the legislative website. Please TAKE ACTION and indicate your support for full funding of the Washington 211 network and the Imagination Library. Here are some bullets you can use:
- Please FULLY Fund the Washington 211 network $10.3 million request to ensure that this critical and underfunded service meets our state’s crisis response system needs. 211 connects people in need with live, in-person skilled assistance. Significant call volume growth in recent years requires more capacity for 211 to continue as a strong partner to the 988 and 911 services.
- Please support the Governor's funding request of $5.2 million for the Dolly Parton Imagination Library to expand this valuable early literacy program statewide and fully leverage private funding so that over 150,000 young readers (up to age 5) receive monthly books that excite their interest in reading and engage their parents in literacy. The Imagination Library creates literacy equity and provides a return on investment.
Senate Proposal Cuts Washington 211 Funding
Despite seeking additional funding for this biennium, the 211 system funding level in the Senate proposal was cut by $1 million from last biennium. In the current biennium, Washington 211 received $3 million. The Senate proposal provides only $2 million. We had asked for $10.3 million for this next two-year cycle. 211 desperately needs additional funding to play the critical role that our state’s residents require and deserve.
No Imagination Library Funding in Proposed Senate Budget
Governor Jay Inslee’s proposed budget allotted $5.2 million for the Imagination Library, a unique program that encourages early learning by providing age-appropriate books to children up to age 5. The proposed Senate budget does not fund, nor reference, this program. This means no state match would be available for local Imagination Library affiliates.
Tim Sweeney published this page in Legislative Updates 2023-03-24 10:48:14 -0700