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Advocacy works!
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Dear Friend,

Today is the beginning of the last stage of the 2019 state legislative session. Parents, families and advocates for kids from across Washington have been speaking up, taking action and bringing powerful voices to the Capitol to protect our kids and make kids' lives better.

Today’s release of a budget proposal from the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives marks a significant and positive moment in our campaign to balance the state’s tax code with fair, adequate and sustainable revenue.  This budget proposal includes closing the tax break on capital gains (see page 3). We support this! Balancing our upside-down tax code helps make sure we have the resources we need for important investments to help our state thrive like health care for kids and families, early learning, and more. Stay tuned for future updates and opportunities to take action!
Advocacy works--here's a progress report on your advocacy so far this session:
 

Family and Community Health
Expand dental therapy to bring urgently needed oral health care to kids and families statewide. House Bill 1317, to authorize dental therapy across Washington, has now passed both the House Health Care and Wellness and Appropriations committees. Thank you to the many advocates who sent messages to their lawmakers and/or testified in support of this bill! The bill has been designated Necessary to Implement the Budget (NTIB) by the Speaker of the House, which means it is not subject to cut-off deadlines. We will keep working in the next month to pass this bill and bring needed oral health care to Washingtonians. The policy remains popular, gaining unprecedented support among legislators and overwhelming approval by Washington voters-- and, the bill is referenced in today’s House budget.
Include dental coverage in the COFA (Compact of Free Association) Islander Health Care program. Thanks to the stellar advocacy of advocates and lawmakers, Senate Bill 5274 has been passed out of the Senate by a unanimous vote! We are now encouraging Chair Timm Ormsby and all members of the Appropriations Committee to hear the bill and take swift action to pass it out and on to the House floor! On Wednesday March 20th, Washingtonians from the Marshallese community visited the capitol to advocate for dental coverage for their community and those from other COFA nations. 
Jan Ward Olmstead, American Indian Health Commission, testifies in support of HB 1317 in the House Health Care & Wellness committee. 
Prime sponsor Sen. Bob Hasegawa during the Senate floor debate, speaking in favor of ESB 5274
Early Learning

Early Learning priorities for the Children’s Alliance legislative agenda continue to move through the legislative process thanks to engaged members from across the state. Advocates brought their stories to Olympia to testify on ECEAP and Child Care access, including parent advocate Kelly Blucher. Kelly’s testimony continues to resonate with lawmakers, such as Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig, who often quotes Kelly’s story when speaking about the need to make early learning a priority. Watch Kelly's testimony below!
Kelly Blucher, advocate and mom of 3 from Tacoma, testifies in Senate Ways and Means committee in response to Senate Bill 5153
Parents Ashley Mucino (left), Janna Ryan (middle), and Randi Clark (right) also shared how ECEAP and childcare access helped provide their children with the necessary social-emotional, physical and pre-academic foundations needed for kindergarten. They spoke in favor of 2SSB 5437, increasing eligibility for ECEAP and increased investments needed in child care rates. They also shared support for 2SHB 1303, which will remove the work requirement barrier for Working Connections Child Care and 2SHB 1344 the Washington Child Care Access Now Act. Advocacy in action is a powerful thing!
Announcement: New Advocacy Director!

Children's Alliance is pleased to welcome our new Advocacy Director, Emilio Garza!  Emilio comes to the Children’s Alliance from recent roles as Executive Director of the Washington Bus and Legislative Assistant to Seattle City Councilmember Rob Johnson - where he was a part of successful campaigns including passing Automatic Voter Registration and Sound Transit 3. He brings a passion for social justice and believes strongly in using grassroots advocacy to build power in historically marginalized communities. Emilio also serves on the Board of Directors at Rainier Valley Corps. Welcome Emilio!
Your advocacy in the 2019 legislative session continues to be a driving force for all Washington kids.
Thank you for speaking up for kids.

Sincerely,

Jon

Jon Gould
Deputy Director

P.S. Want some inspiration for your advocacy? Check out these great photos of advocacy in action at child care advocacy day Strolling Thunder last Thursday
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