(Re: Fundamental difference exists between Senate candidates, August 28)
The true fundamental differences between Sen. Schlicher and his opponent are that Sen. Schlicher understands the complexity of budget issues and can save money while retaining crucial services. The budget mentioned in this letter would have slashed Temporary Aid to Needy Families and other programs essential to our most vulnerable citizens in order to satisfy increased education costs mandated by the Supreme Court. He knows that to be successful students, kids need to have their basic needs met first. Looking at the bigger picture, kids who don’t succeed in school are more likely to develop problems later that will potentially cost more—consider the expense of prisons. The Republican Senate budget was a short-sighted bit of trickery meant to provide soundbites (no-new-taxes!) but impressive only if looking no deeper than the surface.
Even before he took office, Nathan Schlicher saved the people of Washington $30 million. New Medicaid regulations would have left some patients with the choice between getting needed care coupled with significant financial hardship or risking death by not seeking help. Dr. Schlicher proposed a plan that would save money and retain needed services by streamlining administrative procedures and other cost reductions that did not impact care. He shepherded his plan through the legislature and into law, saving $30 million last year without impacting care. This is exactly the kind of “fiscal sanity” we need. I urge voters to retain this highly capable senator and give him the opportunity to perform similar cost-saving magic in other areas.