For Immediate Release: For More Information Contact:
October 9, 2009 HealthPoint
Diana Olsen at (425) 203-0447
Key Renton Human Service Agencies Partner with City of Renton to Oppose Initiative 1033
Eyman Initiative would have far-reaching consequences
to all human service agencies
Renton, WA - HealthPoint, King County Sexual Assault Resource Center (KCSARC) and Renton Area Youth & Family Services (RAYS) are joining the City of Renton in their strong opposition to Tim Eyman's Initiative 1033. A similar initiative that was enacted in Colorado proved to be disastrous for human services in that state.
According to HealthPoint CEO Thomas Trompeter, "State budget cuts this year devastated our health care system - $250 million was cut from the community health system and devastated other funding for public health and social services. Eyman's I-1033 would make these cuts worse and permanent."
I-1033 would establish the state budget that passed earlier this year as the baseline and increases in that baseline would be dictated by a rigid formula designed to artificially limit any increases in state spending. These artificial limits would also apply to city and county budgets.
Not only would I-1033 make the current budget cuts permanent, but it would lead to even deeper cuts as the demand for and cost of human services grows. Eyman's flawed formula would tie growth in state spending to general population growth, but the parts of the population most in need of services are growing faster than the general population. This formula would create intense pressure to further cut human services.
For the same reasons that the Renton City Council voted unanimously to oppose the I-1033, HealthPoint, KCSARC and RAYS have endorsed Vote No on I-1033. These human service agencies cannot weather even deeper cuts to funding and infrastructure.
- Mary Ellen Stone, Executive Director of King County Sexual Assault Resource Center, noted that KCSARC's ability to respond to the families affected by sexual assault would be severely impacted. Of the families who sought help from KCSARC because of a sexual assault, 96% said that agency services helped them understand and cope with the impacts of the trauma.
- RAYS would be forced to substantially curtail services to children as young as 4 years from reduced funding as a result of the budget limitations of I-1033. In addition to reducing mental health services, high risk teen intervention programs would be significantly impacted, according to Richard Brooks, Executive Director of RAYS.
- At HealthPoint, at least 2400 patients would most likely lose their Basic Health insurance coverage. At the same time, HealthPoint would be forced to significantly reduce the number of uninsured patients it could serve based on reduced state grants. Currently HealthPoint serves over 20,000 uninsured individuals and families in King County
Eyman's I-1033 would wreak havoc on our organizations and our communities. Everyone in King County and across the state will feel the impact if these limitations are enacted. We cannot let this happen in the State of Washington.
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Additional contact information:
Diana Olsen, Marketing and Community Relations Manager
King County Sexual Assault Resource Center
Mary Ellen Stone, Executive Director
Renton Area Youth & Family Services
Richard Brooks, Executive Director