February 3, 2020
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Federal Issues

Congress addresses child care solutions

Federal lawmakers are considering new solutions to address the country's lack of affordable and quality child care.

The House Ways and Means Committee held a Jan. 28 hearing on the issue. Lawmakers discussed several proposals, including the FAMILY Act, the New Parents Act, and The Advancing Support for Working Families Act, which is co-sponsored by U.S. Rep. Jamie Herrera Beutler, R-WA.

The Advancing Support for Working Families Act would support new parents by allowing them to take advance future tax credits as a lump sum immediately after the child arrives.

The measure would give parents the option of receiving a $5,000 tax credit after the birth or adoption of a child. The funds would be advanced, essentially, since the bill would reduce subsequent tax credits by $500 for 10 years, The Reflector reports.

"As a parent of an infant, I know the added cost families face in the first year following birth," Herrera Beutler said in a news release. "Being able to receive financial support after the birth or adoption of a child can make all the difference in the world to a new parent, especially working parents who may not get paid leave."

Affordable child care and related workforce issues are high on AWB's priority list this year. Contact Amy Anderson, AWB government affairs director for federal and workforce issues, to learn more.

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News: Legislative Day and Hill Climb
Focus on Puget Sound

Removing Snake River dams is misguided approach to saving orcas

By Todd Myers and Steve Martin

The struggle to increase salmon populations and help Southern Resident killer whales will be won or lost through recovery projects across the state, perhaps most importantly in Puget Sound.

That simple, scientific reality should guide salmon recovery in Washington. Distractions, like the destruction of the Snake River dams, will end up harming salmon, orcas and those who care about them.

The science is clear that Puget Sound is the most important source of food for starving orcas. NOAA Fisheries and the state Department of Fish and Wildlife ranked their sources of food for orca and found that the Puget Sound, Strait of Georgia, the Lower Columbia and the Fraser rivers are the top priorities. The Snake River ranked ninth.

This is why NOAA Fisheries has repeatedly concluded that destroying the four lower Snake River dams would have a "marginal" impact on orca recovery, despite a very high cost...

Todd Myers is a member of the Puget Sound Salmon Recovery Council and environmental director of the Washington Policy Center in Seattle. Steve Martin previously served as executive coordinator of Gov. Jay Inslee's Salmon Recovery Office.

Read the full op-ed in The News Tribune