Keep Funding for the GAU Grant! Support Change in Washington's 2009 Budget

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    Washington State Legislature and Governer Gregoire
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Governor Chris Gregoire,

We are aware that you have proposed to cut all funding to the GAU (General Assistance Unemployable) grants in your 2009 budget. We know that you believe this will save up to $400 million over the next couple of years. Truly, this will not save money; it will put more stress on local organizations and hospitals who will try to absorb the missing funds. DSHS estimates 22,000 people a year are served by the grant.

The GAU grant supports a variety of people, young and old. Those who qualify can not work for at least three months because of medical disability. Medical problems range from those who are stroke victims, have broken bones, mental health issues, to cancer patients. Many people receive GAU benefits while waiting for their Social Security or Disability claims to be processed. Claim processing can take up to a couple of years. These people will be left in limbo with no support!

People rely on the GAU to live! The GAU provides a medical card and minimal monthly living expenses to those in need. With out the GAU there will be thousands of disabled citizens who can not pay for food, medical bills, utilities, etc.

Below are a series of links regarding these legislative cuts and more information about the GAU grant:

* The Poverty Action Networks (PAN) Legislative Agenda. It has information on the positions that PAN is taking.

http://www.povertyaction.org/Home/documents/PovertyActionLegislativeAgenda2009_000.pdf

* One of Washingtons favorite newspapers, The News Tribune, has presented some editorial pieces about the GAU cuts:

Ending GAU would make for very costly savings

http://www.thenewstribune.com/opinion/story/627891.html

Who are these people on GAU?

http://blogs.thenewstribune.com/oped/2009/02/13/who_are_these_people_on_gau

* Washington State Coalition to End Homelessness also has some literature on the subject:

http://www.endhomelessnesswa.org/WSCH/Political\%20Action/2007\%20agenda.pdf

* The Committee to End Homelessness in King County has this page about topics in the State Legislature including the GAU:

http://www.cehkc.org/involved/legislativeState.aspx

* WSU has a published document on the History and Changes in Poverty in Washington State that offers great background reading:

http://www.crs.wsu.edu/wacts21/EB1973E.pdf

* DSHSs general informational page on the GAU grant:

http://fortress.wa.gov/dshs/maa/gaumc/gau\%20eligibility\%20info.htm


We need to keep monies designated in the WA state budget for the GAU grants. This petition is meant to raise attention to this issue in hopes that you will hear the voices of those in support of the GAU. Change your legislative plans! Please consider the great number of people who will be displaced without the funding from these grants.

Vote with your community to save the GAU!