Over $200 million of welfare "savings" is currently sitting in the state's bank account. This money should be spent on affordable housing, quality childcare, food stamps, transportation, healthcare, and education for poor mothers and their children. But Governor Gary Locke, who will soon decide (without legislative approval) how this money will be spent, believes that spending this savings to meet the needs of current and former welfare recipients would be an admission that his prized "welfare reform" is not a success. So Locke proposes to use this money to hire more teachers for the public schools.
While hiring more teachers is indeed an important goal, he should not take money from the poor and give it to the middle class. The $200 million savings from welfare cuts needs to be used to help make sure that poor children have food, safety, shelter, and adequate care.
Governor Locke will decide in the next few weeks how the $200 million in welfare savings will be spent. Your phone calls, letters, and emails will make a difference. Messages can be left for him at the toll-free legislative hotline at (800) 562-6000. His email address is email@example.com. His mailing address is PO Box 40002, Olympia, WA 98504. Deluge him with your opinions!