Here's a few items you might find interesting that we have put on our legislative update page. Between sessions, we hope to send this on a monthly basis. Let me know if you have information to share that is consistent with United Way Legislative Agenda.
SPAN Holding Listening Sessions on TANF Enhancements
The Statewide Poverty Action Network is holding listening sessions throughout the state starting with Workfirst students at Everett Community College. The focus of these sessions is to identify how to make Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) more effective in helping families move out of poverty. The Network is looking at proposal such as eliminating the 60-month time limit, extending the two-month time window for parents to return to WorkFirst compliance, bringing the cash grant up to 2018 costs, adding a housing supplement and investing in a robust Career Pathway program. David Hlebain leads the Basic Needs Campaign for SPAN.
Latest ALICE Report Capturing Headlines
The United Way ALICE Project released its report in May, shining a light on the 1 million plus households in Washington state with incomes below the Household Survival Budget -- a measure created by this multi-state initiative that identifies a bare-bones budget that is a more accurate alternative to the outdated Federal Poverty Level. Since then articles have appeared in The News Tribune, Lynden Tribune, and Bellingham Herald. If you haven’t yet, check out this year’s ALICE Report and share it with others.
Seeking a Path Toward a Universal Preschool System
At the June Early Learning Action Alliance meeting, members heard from leaders of the new Washington State Department of Children, Youth and Families about proposed plans the Governor will review to create a universal preschool system with the bold goal to achieve 90 percent school readiness in our state. This evidence-informed approach will focus on school readiness and be open to different approaches regarding eligibility, service delivery, and funding mechanisms. Statewide, less than 50 percent of kids are currently prepared for kindergarten.