Florida’s children and families are counting on members of Congress and the president to reach an agreement before year’s end to prevent tax cuts to middle-class families, cuts to critical services, and to protect tax credits that support working-class Americans.
What will be the impact for Florida if leaders in Washington cannot compromise?
Cuts to the SNAP program (food stamps) mean 3.2 million Floridians with reduced resources for food over the next decade. $24.5 million less for Head Start means 3,915 fewer children of low-income families will be ready for school.
Cuts to tax credits means big trouble for 900,000 working Floridians and their 1.7 million children. The potential loss of tens of millions of dollars for early care and education; for K-12 education; for special education; for vocational rehabilitation; and for the Women, Infants and Children nutrition program, escalate the urgency for an agreement.
Yet looking past the Dec. 31 fiscal cliff deadline, we see looming cuts to Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act, and Medicare — cuts to essential services and healthcare coverage that will devastate middle-class and low-income families.
These programs and services are already lean and under-funded.
From our representatives in Washington, we need more than a handshake prior to Dec. 31:
We need your guarantee to protect and promote programs essential for Florida’s children and families now and in the months to come.
Daniella Levine, president-CEO, Catalyst, Miami