As my son rejoices at the closure of school for the day, I am thinking about the people in the homeless shelters and using food banks, and the families who created the longest line ever for the Christmas Bureau sponsored annually by the Spokesman-Review.
So begins a recent blog post by Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown, who's clearly worried about what the $5.7 billion (or more) budget shortfall will mean to struggling people and families.
Brown was muted in her criticism yesterday of Gov. Chris Gregoire's all-cuts budget proposal for the next two years. Among those cuts: eliminating adult day health programs that help senior citizens and disabled adults remain in their homes, doing away with $339-a-month checks and health coverage of thousands of people deemed "unemployable" due to mental or physical problems, and a 42 percent cut in state-subsidized health coverage for the working poor.
But the former Senate budget writer also implies that a budget written by the Senate will look a lot different. Brown writes:
I respect the principle behind the Governor's admonition to the legislature (prompted by press inquiries about alternatives to an all-cuts budget) that "we've got to live within our means". But something sticks in my throat when I think about the contrast between the high-flying corporate executives and the mentally and physically challenged people living one step up from the streets on GA-U. How do they live within their means if we completely eliminate them?