An in-depth look at the new WA Cares Fund
The Legislature recently created the WA Cares Fund, a new long-term care program that everyone can access when they need it.
Just like Social Security and Medicare, WA Cares is part of the social safety net that Washington residents can access when they need it. Most of us will need long-term care support or services when we are older, but almost no one saves for it. WA Cares will be there for you for many of those long-term care needs. And since everyone contributes, everyone benefits.
As we get older, doing some things might get harder and we might need changes to our home to get around or help getting to doctors’ appointments. WA Cares can be used for a range of services and supports, like building ramps for wheelchair accessibility around the house or hiring a home care assistant to come a few hours a week for basic home assistance. There are a lot ways to use the WA Cares benefit – without spending savings or relying on Medicaid.
In my latest Visiting with Mia video, I am joined by Cathy MacCaul, Advocacy Director for AARP Washington, to talk about the new WA Cares Fund. Click here or on the image below to watch it.
For more information on the program, please visit the WA Cares Fund website at wacaresfund.wa.gov to get the facts. We truly believe the WA Cares Fund is going to be a major benefit to families in Washington state for years to come.
Rental Assistance for Tenants and Landlords
Gov. Inslee extended the eviction moratorium through October 31. If you need help paying back rent, there is still assistance available.
King County is accepting applications for its Eviction Prevention and Rent Assistance Program. Tenants can get more information here.
The Washington Limited Landlord Relief Program offers owners of six or fewer rental properties the opportunity to recuperate payments from non-communicative renters or those that don’t qualify for the Eviction Rental Assistance Program. Learn more here.
King County also has resources for landlords.
Accessing State Grants and Loans
If your nonprofit is looking for funds to expand your facilities or services, or your organization wants to preserve a historic or ecological landmark, there’s good news: Each biennium the Legislature allocates money for grant and loan programs in the Capital Budget. Check out this list of available grant and loan programs to see if your organization or project is eligible.
Financial Aid applications open now
Our colleges and universities are reporting decreased rates of enrollment. This is particularly true for students in underrepresented communities. Fortunately, 2022-23 financial aid applications are now open and families of four making up to $102,000/year can qualify for aid.
The Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC) is providing online support and resources—including virtual events—to help families complete their applications. Learn more in this WSAC notice.
Proposed redistricting maps are online
Once every ten years, the political boundaries in our state are redrawn to evenly balance the population among each legislative and congressional district. Since communities and populations change over time, this process ensures that each district represents an equal number of residents.
In our state, an independent redistricting commission is charged with redrawing these boundaries. The commission is made up of four commissioners that are each appointed by the four legislative caucuses, plus a fifth nonvoting commissioner. Back in December 2020, Speaker Jinkins appointed April Sims to be the redistricting commissioner for the House Democratic Caucus.
Last month, the commissioners each released their proposed legislative and congressional maps, which you can be view here.
The commission has held a series of outreach meetings from May to October. You can watch them all here and weigh in by leaving a comment on each commissioner’s map even if you didn’t attend the meetings.
I hope you’ll add your voice to the conversation. It is critical that the commission’s final maps reflect the input of the people and communities of our state.
Keep in touch!
Thank you for taking the time to read this newsletter. I hope it was useful. If you need information on any of these topics, or on any legislative matter, please contact my office.
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All best wishes,