Kagi emphasizes role of early learning, foster care in Democrats’ budget

Friday, March 31, 2017

Evan Smith
By Evan Smith

State Rep. Ruth Kagi says that the Democrats’ proposed state budget helps children by expanding early learning programs and by reforming foster care.

Kagi, chairwoman of the committee on early learning and human services in the State House of Representatives, spoke at a press conference in Olympia Monday with other leaders of the House Democratic majority caucus, as Democrats presented what they call a “Family friendly budget.”

She said the Democrats’ budget keeps a commitment to helping children enter kindergarten ready to learn by opening 3,000 new positions in pre-school programs.

Kagi added that the Democrats’ budget reforms foster care by paying for a new Department of Children, Youth and Families and by increasing the number of case workers.

Kagi, who also is a member of the House Appropriations Committee, represents the 32nd Legislative District, including the city of Shoreline and part of northwest Seattle, Woodway and nearby unincorporated areas of southwest Snohomish County, south Edmonds, the city of Lynnwood and part of Mountlake Terrace.

The Democrats proposed budget would enhance these programs while taking steps toward meeting the State Supreme Court’s requirements that the legislature provide full state support for public schools. It does so by increasing taxes on businesses with the highest revenue and by imposing a capital-gains tax on the richest Washington residents.

Democrats contrasted their proposal with the budget proposed by the Republican-led Senate majority, a budget that would have deep cuts to early learning and other social programs.

Evan Smith can be reached at schsmith@frontier.com


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