Calling today's budget agreement a "serious setback for the elderly and people with disabilities," the Service Employees International Union announced it will go to the ballot this fall to fight cuts in home health care hours and decreased training for home health care workers.
“The legislature has decided to balance the budget on the backs of low-wage home care workers, ignoring the will of the voters in the process," said Adam Glickman, vice-president of SEIU Healthcare 775NW, in a statement to reporters. "They should be ashamed of themselves."
Glickman's group did not specify exactly what type of ballot measure it might push for—an initiative to restore just home health care funding? a broader initiative?—but SEIU made clear it wants to have something before voters in November.
Meanwhile, the Washington State Budget & Policy Center points out that this new budget is 90 percent cuts—on top of plenty of cuts that have already been instituted in recent years.
"Since the recession began," the center notes, "lawmakers have made approximately $5.5 billion in cuts. In the next 24 hours they plan to make an additional $4.5 billion in reductions which will impact children, seniors, students, and people with disabilities."
And, the center reminds: "An all-cuts budget was not the only approach that could have been taken."