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Bishops Call on Lawmakers to Fund Safety-Net Programs

In a letter to Governor Jay Inslee and state lawmakers, the Catholic bishops of Washington state said the needs of the poor, hungry and unemployed must come first as they establish budget priorities. ”As Catholic pastors, we remind you that economic decisions possess a clear and compelling moral dimension,” they said in the letter, which sets out criteria for guiding state budget negotiations. Among those criteria are the dignity of human life, the effect of budgetary decisions on the poor and unemployed and promoting the good of society. Amoung the priority programs mentioned by the bishops were the state Housing Trust Fund, financial assistance for working-poor parents and grants to those unable to work because of physical or mental disabilities. The letter was signed by all four bishops of Washington state including Bishop Joseph Tyson of the Diocese of Yakima.

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