Spring is around the corner and it's the best time to turn over a new leaf. The Washington State Senate just released their proposed operating budget and right now is the time lawmakers need to hear from families about what investments we need to thrive.
Why is this important? As you may know, we’ve been urging lawmakers this session to protect investments in early learning, paid leave, and the Working Families Tax Credit and more. The Senate just released their budget and here’s the good news: the Senate's proposed 2023-25 budget includes huge investments in early learning and child care, the paid family and medical leave reserve fund, and ongoing support for the Working Families Tax Credit. Specifically, we're celebrating:
- $456.7 million to improve and grow Working Connections Child Care, the state's child care subsidy program. These investments will ensure early learning providers are receiving market-rate payments for their services, expand access to affordable care for child care workers themselves, and abolish the exclusion of undocumented children from the Working Connections Child Care system.
- $215 million to ensure the longterm stability of the state's paid family and medical leave program, which has seen unprecedented growth in the program's first three years
- $105.8 million for enhancements to ECEAP - the state's preschool program that provides essential care and education to little learners preparing for kindergarten.
- $27.7 million for outreach and multilingual application supports to improve access to the Working Families Tax Credit
Now is the time to make our voices heard for these investments AND ask the Senate to go a little further for working families. Click here to send your Senator a quick email asking them to do just that!
While we are celebrating these big wins, we are still hoping for action on three major priorities for MomsRising:
- $250,000 to fund research and analysis at the University of Washington's Evans School of Public Governance to examine the impacts of the state's paid family and medical leave program's limited employment protections on equitable program uptake
- $1 million to expand infant mental health consultation to child care providers and families across the state that is culturally and linguistically responsive
- $7.2 million to fund House Bill 1477, making important technical corrections and adjustments to the Working Families Tax Credit to allow for equitable access, particularly for survivors of domestic violence
Now is the time to make our voices heard! Click here to send your Senator a note of appreciation and ask them to prioritize these additional investments as they finalize their proposed operating budget.