February 27, 2013 at 4:01 PM
Negative response grows as sequester nears
Reliance on federal funding may need to end
Monday’s Seattle Times article “Stalemate in D.C. may cost state millions in federal aid” [page one, Feb. 25] predicts a disaster for our state. Hundreds of teacher layoffs, thousands of children losing vaccinations, child care, college help and Head Start. Loss of cancer screening, cuts in health care and drinking water protection, etc. All from a 3 percent cut in federal aid to our state.
It’s incredible to think that we can’t find moneys by juggling our own budget dollars to avoid such cuts. If not, it shows how irresponsible our politicians have been in depending upon federal help to run our state.
We had better get used to paying our own way because the feds have run out of money!
–Wayne Jensen, Kirkland
Sequester sees bipartisan disapproval
Republicans hate the sequester. Democrats hate the sequester. The president hates the sequester. Finally, everyone agrees on something. Be bipartisan. Repeal the sequester.
In total, the U.S. House took 33 votes to repeal Obamacare. Surely they can take one vote to repeal the sequester!
–Paula Joneli, Des Moines
Lottery to ease budget needs
It’s time the residents of the USA take the matter into their own hands since Congress will not.
Let’s establish a U.S. residents lottery where the profits goes toward paying down the deficit and the debt.
I would be the first to commit to buying a ticket or two a week to support a good cause that will not harm my fellow residents the way a sequester will.
–Ruth Knagenhjelm, Normandy Park
Support those with low income, food banks
When people are being faced with significant cuts to their unemployment checks, how can we let food banks take the hit as well [“Jobless, cities could be first to feel budget pain,” seattletimes.com, Feb. 25]?
Many people already relying on unemployment benefits and other social-welfare programs will have to line up at food banks to get the food they need. However, food banks are also at risk for a loss of funding. The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), which provides the funding necessary to keep food banks and distribution centers open, may be eliminated completely as a result of upcoming budget cuts.
Even without the threat of budget cuts, the need for emergency food services in Washington has been on the rise. Since 2008, the number of people visiting food banks has increased by 35 percent yet the amount of state support TEFAP is receiving has remained the same.
According to the Washington State Department of Agriculture, between June 2011 and June 2012 alone, there were 8.6 million visits to food banks. This number shows an increase of 500,000 from the previous year. A $3.7 million increase in TEFAP’s budget is necessary to keep up with the rising demand in emergency food services.
You can help! Please urge your legislator to support the $3.7 million increase of TEFAP’s budget. Find your legislator by visiting www.leg.wa.gov or by calling the legislative hotline at 1-800-562-6000.
–Amy Thome, Perla Castaneda and Morgan Cole
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