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March 4, 2012 at 4:00 PM

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Senate Democrat's budget

Cutting programs hurt people

It’s no trick — if anything, it’s brutal honesty — for Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown to point out that we, as a state, have a structural revenue problem [“Too few cuts, too many tricks in the Senate Democrats’ budget,” Opinion, Feb. 29].

The result of this revenue problem is we deny ourselves the means to make Washington a great home for strong families. With the number of kids growing up in poverty increasing by nearly 50 percent over the past four years, this is eminently apparent.

We do need to continue the conversation about real revenue, as The Seattle Times urges.

In the past few months, House and Senate leaders from both parties have made some headway. They are on the verge of adopting some smart reforms, like closing a multimillion-dollar loophole for mortgage lenders.

Reforms like these can spare families from the deepening consequences of a fourth year of budget cuts.

But in the meantime, they need solutions in the form of a state budget that protects basic needs like food and health care for kids. Calling for more cuts to children and families is the epitome of a short-term fix.

Deferring a payment transfer to our schools hurts not one single student. Cutting food, health care, and child-care assistance hurts thousands.

— Jon Gould, Children’s Alliance

We need a working economy

These “tricks” help real families survive.

While things are getting better, demand for services have not gone down. Thankfully, both House and Senate leaders saw this in the budget, protecting child care for working families, and health care for kids so they can learn better.

In the child-care industry, in which I am a part of, we see every day the impact that quality care has on families. Supporting children and their families in their everyday lives helps to close the opportunity gaps that plague children in our educational systems today.

Access to quality care for families in need is often the deciding factor in a child’s overall social, emotional and academic health. The future rests on better decisions that keep all options on the table, and opportunities and basic services available for kids.

Are tax breaks for big banks out of Washington more important than children’s future?

We need an economy that works for all us, not just for big banks and special interests.

— Brianna Jackson, director of operations, Community Day School Association

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