by Dr. Daniel Low
“I’ve never had a doctor ask,” he quipped. “Well, taxes are important, Mr. Jones,” I chuckled. Like many others, Mr. Jones had recently summoned the courage to come to his first clinic visit in nearly two years, previously avoiding the medical establishment as COVID-19 raged across the country. With so much time between our last visits, he was expecting questions about his diabetes management and colon cancer screening (which we covered), but whether he needed help filing taxes? That was not what he was expecting.
Continue reading OPINION: Wellness = Health + Financial Literacy
by Margaret Babayan and Emily Vyhnanek
Last week, in a historic win for Washingtonians, the legislature passed House Bill 1297, an updated version of our state’s long-unfunded Working Families Tax Credit, with overwhelming bipartisan support. This targeted tax credit, which will provide an annual cash rebate to nearly 1 in 6 households with low and moderate incomes, will soon be signed into law by Governor Jay Inslee.
An earlier version of the credit initially passed the legislature in 2008 thanks to the efforts of many anti-poverty advocates, but amid state budget cuts during the Great Recession, it was never funded.
In the past few years however, a statewide coalition of more than 45 organizations formed to rekindle and strengthen advocacy efforts to get direct, flexible cash to Washingtonians and to expand eligibility to include more immigrants. The diverse coalition represents economic and racial justice groups, immigrant rights advocates, small business incubators, labor organizations, direct service providers, domestic violence advocates, research organizations (like the one we work for: the Washington State Budget & Policy Center), and more.
Continue reading OPINION: Community Members and Advocates Achieved a Big Victory for Inclusive Cash Support